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“Aren’t you just sick and tired of being you?” – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “A Kiss Before Lying”

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Greetings, My Pretties!  I think the theme of “A Kiss Before Lying,” is best stated by the late Ali herself, when she asks Hanna (in her trademark “Ali” way that is both insulting and mysterious, at the same time). “Aren’t you just sick and tired of being you?”

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In a literal sense, the line refers to Ali, herself.  After all, at the time, she was wearing a wig and masquerading as a fictional literary character, and quite possibly — if the conspiracy theorists are to be believed — masquerading as her own twin sister.

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But, in a way, this episode showed us that all the PLL characters have created alternate identities for themselves, to some extent.

Let’s see:  there’s Hanna and her mom, who must pretend that they are wealthy through natural means, and not, as a result of theft.  There’s Aria, who must pretend she’s dating Holden, instead of Fitzy.  There’s Spencer, who’s trying to portray herself, as tough and strong, while, on the inside, she is literally wearing Toby’s under shirt, and falling apart at the seams.

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There’s Maya, who’s trying to show herself as being “cool and laidback,” while, in reality, she’s still rocking some serious resentment toward her girlfriend’s mother, for getting her shipped off to druggie camp.  And, finally, there’s Evil Stepsister Kate, who’s hiding a literally UGLY past, during which her now-flawless face was covered with ugly boils.  And, if my theory is correct, she’s also hiding a series scheme to take down Hanna, once and for all . .

“I’m going to ship you to the glue factory, just like this horse . . .” 

As for the episode title itself, “A Kiss Before Lying,” two couple’s exchanged kisses this week, Emmaya and Ezra.  Fitzy and Maya . . .  what lies are they tellings their loved ones about their identities?  Could either of them be “A”? 😉

So shake up your boil-and-baggy, throw on your favorite wig, and practice your favorite Air Hockey Victory Dance . . .

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 . . . because it’s time for another Pretty Little Recap . . .

Spencer Hastings Smells Like Cheeseburgers . . .

“What?  You don’t like it?  It’s my new Ode de McDonalds’ perfume . . .” 

So, I have this new theory that Caleb Rivers is a werewolf.  Why?  Because he has a creepily good sense of smell.  Just last week, while on yet another phone hacking excursion with the PLL girls, Caleb kindly informed Emily that she smelled like mulch . . .

This week, Caleb got Spencer to stop crowding him, by informing her that he could tell she had a cheeseburger for lunch . . . even though it was already dinnertime!  Now, that’s impressive . . .

Anyway, contrary to my own interest in Caleb’s latent lupine tendencies, I think the real point of the scene was to show (1) that the PLL crew still couldn’t figure out what the heck is in Ali’s Secret Box; (2) that Dead Ali takes the best fake license picture, ever . . .

 

Seriously . . . it’s like one of those Glamour Shots! 

 . . . and (3) everybody is still freezing out Hanna, due to the whole “she put the flashdrive in a blender, but Caleb secretly made a copy” thing . . .

Have you ever called all your friends at once, and none of them answered?  So, you developed this paranoid fear that all of them were together having fun without you?  Well, that’s pretty much EXACTLY what’s happening to Hanna, right now.

“Hmm . . . well, Ali’s dead, so I can’t call her.   Mona’s probably out shopping for more sweater sets.  Lucas is an ONLINE GAMBLER!  So, I can’t hang out with him . . .”

We watch as each of the PLL girls, and Caleb, receive calls from Hanna, one right after another, and subsequently ignore them.

Eventually, Spencer takes pity on Hanna (after cynically noting that she is always the last one called), and actually picks up her phone.  Cue the idiocy of Emily, who chooses that exact moment to break glass on the floor, and Aria, who chooses to yell “EMILLLLLLYYYYYY,” in a ridiculously loud voice, so that Hanna can hear her.

(She might as well have just yelled, “HI HANNA!  It’s ARIA!  We are all here at Spencer’s house, rubbing up against your boyfriend!  And you aren’t invited!  Sucks to be you!)

“Umm, I’ve got go hang out with my family,” Spencer blurts out awkwardly, before hanging up the phone.

In other news, Aria has inexplicably begun lying, not just to her parents, about continuing to see Fitzy, but to her friends as well.  “There are certain situations where you have to lie to your friends, even if you hate doing it,” Aria tells Spencer in a private moment, after everyone else has left the house.

Aria’s actually talking about herself.  But Spencer assumes the confession relates to the secret all of them are currently keeping from Hanna.  So, she lets it slide . . .

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Speaking of Spencer, the poor girl is clearly on the verge of an Abs Toby-fueled emotional breakdown!  She’s wearing his t-shirts . . . sitting in his abandoned car . . . deathly afraid to be alone . . . all the post breakup depression signs are in full force.  It’s interesting to see this more vulnerable side of Spencer.  After all, of all the girls, she seemed to be the most independent, and the least reliant on significant others to make her happy.

And yet, perhaps, that’s precisely the point.  Unlike the other girls, who are all rather quick to fall in love, and open their hearts to new people, Spencer is a bit more guarded and closed off.  So, the fact that Toby was really able to wiggle his way into her heart, is something that Spencer does not take lightly, nor can she let it go, so easily.  “I don’t know how you are holding it together,” Spencer cries to Aria, as the two embrace.

 Spencer, I’m really sorry your sad.  We all love Toby, really we do.  But . . . might I make a suggestion?

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist . . .

Fitzy and Aria generate some real heat, while Holden and Aria order some fake appetizers . . .

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I love all these TV shows, where couples do things together while driving, like making out, and sometimes even, having full-on sex.  And nobody stops to think that maybe this is a bad idea  . . .

Fortunately, (since this IS ABC Family, after all) Aria’s mouth doesn’t stray far enough from Fitzy’s to go some place more X-rated.  Yet Fitzy definitely closes his eyes, and turns his head, for a good five seconds, in order to return the favor.

And we all know how “easily distracted” Fitzy can be . . .

While it was definitely sweet to see Aria and Fitzy together again, doing coupley things (even though, for obvious reasons, those “things” are restricted to secret car rendezvous), there’s something about the way the pair has to continuously sneak around and look over their shoulders all the time, that’s a bit sad.  It must make them FEEL like they are doing something wrong, whether or not they believe they actually are.

Oh, and did I mention that Byron the Bad Dad is trying to get Fitzy shipped off to Louisanna for an “Associate Dean” position, at Hollis’ satelite school?

“Whachu talkin’ about, Recapper?” 

*insert evil laugh here* 

First of all, what kind of self-respecting university gives an Associate Deanship to a 24-year old, with less than one year of teaching experience?  Second of all, Byron’s a moron, because he’s pretty much inviting his daughter to runaway with an older man and elope in the bayou.  He also seriously needs to get laid, because his man-crush / fixation on Fitzy is getting a bit ridiculous.  Third of all . . . well . . . I think this picture pretty much says it all . . .

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After Aria’s and Fitzy’s Secret Car Ride, she rushes back to Holden, just in time for Bad Dad Byron to take them home.  While Bad Dad leaves the car to make a clandestine call to his secret underage girlfriend  get some money from the ATM, Aria and Holden work to get their story straight about what they fake ate for dinner, during their fake date.  They also make plans for their next fake date, which just so happens to be their third one of the week.

I kind of love that ABC Family is “cultured” enough to have it’s characters do a little eyebrow raising and tongue wagging at the notion of the “third date,” which is referred to by some single adults as the “sex date.”  Though I suspect the line was not meant to imply that Aria and her friends share the same custom as their older counterparts, I do think ABC was providing a little wink to some of it’s viewers, who are college age, and above . . .

Of course, Aria and Holden aren’t having sex.  They are just eating a lot of fake garlic bread, with extra butter.  It’s a good thing Bad Dad Byron doesn’t share Caleb’s superpowers.  Otherwise, he would have totally been able to “sniff” out this particular lie . . .

“One of you smells like Fitzy’s car, and the other one smells like Fight Club.  I wonder which is which?” 

In which Maya teaches us about the pot-smoking tendencies of jazz musicians . . .

I guess I should really start listening to jazz music . . . 

So, Maya and Emily are back together.  By the time we reunite with them, they are already cuddled in Maya’s bed bantering, back and forth about Emily’s disappointment about being off the swimteam . . .

On one level, Maya’s being pretty cute and supportive of her girlfriend, while attempting to find humor the bad situation that is Emily’s expulsion from the team, due to both her being a suspected murderer.  And yet some of Maya’s “joking” suggestions about how to seek vengeance against the team do seem just a smidge “A” like, don’t they?  Like putting Nair in their shampoo bottles for example . . . Just sayin’ . . .

In other news, Fitzy apparently isn’t the only couple capable of creating heat.  Emmaya was so racy this week, it practically came with it’s own “parental discretion is advised” label . . .

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In addition to plotting against the swim team, and fondling one another, Emily and Maya also briefly discussed Mama Field’s visit to Rosewood, and what impact that would have on the couple’s relationship.  Apparently, Maya still hasn’t quite warmed to the woman who got her shipped off to druggie camp.  (Gee, I wonder why?)

Back at school Emily gets a message from “A” attached to her locker . . .

Just kidding!  The note is actually from HER MOM!

“Haha!  Suckassss!”

It IS interesting that “A” and Emily’s mother happen to have the same handwriting, though.  Don’t you think?  I also think the wording of the red-herring message is interesting, considering that Emily, herself hasn’t been tortured by “A,” since her greenhouse encounter.  It’s also important to note that of all the romantic relationships on this show, Emmaya seems to be the only one “A” hasn’t tried to break up.  Hmmm . . . suspicious . . .

Anywhoo, when Emily’s mom offers to take Emily’s friends out for dinner, Emily instead suggests new/old girlfriend, Maya.  And you could just see Mommy Dearest’s face crumple into a million pieces at the suggestion.  But she quickly recovers, and agrees to date, promising to give Maya another chance . . .

To say Emmaya and Mom’s date doesn’t exactly go well is the understatement of the century.  Right off the bat, Maya angers Emily for engaging in odd conversation about “cell phone apps” with A’s probable new lacky, and Blind Jenna’s new beau, Bushy Eyebrows Noel.

“Emily . . . Emily’s mom . . . two women on this show that I haven’t dated yet.  Might I interest you in a threesome?” 

When Maya promises Emily that Noel is a “nice guy,” the disdain is written all over Emily’s face.  The latter observes wryly that “his smile takes up half of his face.”  I’d like to add that his eyebrows take up the other half . . .

Have you ever a friend who, for whatever reason, just continuously said rude and inappropriate things in front of your mother?  And you just knew that your mother couldn’t stand her, which made meetings between the three of you super uncomfortable?

 I’ve actually had this experience a few times, which is why I was cringing throughout this dinner scene . . .  From Maya’s backhanded compliment to Mrs. Fields about her ability to control and dominate those less powerful than herself . . . to her insistence that Mrs. Fields probably only listened to conservative music, and wouldn’t listen to jazz, because jazz musicians were potheads . . . to her leaving the phone on LOUD, while at the dinner table . . . to her repeated references to “druggie camp” . . . and the stalker boyfriend she had there, it was as if every word out of Maya’s mouth was specially designed to piss off Mama Fields.  And if Mama Fields’ pursed lips smile, and raised eyebrows were any indication, her plan worked splendidly.  (I think I smell another Byron Montgomery, in the making.)

When  a frazzled Mama leaves the table (probably to call her shrink, or her priest, or something), Emily really lets Maya have it for her bad behavior . . .

At first, Maya is extremely defensive, when confronted with the accusation that she is deliberately sabotaging Emily’s relationship with her mother, and, by extension, Maya’s relationship with Emily.  She genuinely doesn’t seem to think she did anything wrong.  Then, she goes on the offensive, by accusing Emily of picking a fight with Maya, simply because she’s concerned about Maya dating boys.

Though my instinct was to side with Emily on this one (respecting my elders, was one of the very first lessons my parents drilled into my head, back when I was really young . . . and it stuck, in a big way), Maya’s response to the accusation made me wonder, if, perhaps, she really wasn’t aware of how rude she was being.  Having grown up in a hippie-type household, it’s highly possible that Maya was simply raised differently than Emily and I were.  Perhaps, in her house, parents and adults speak to one another as equals, and are brutally honest with eachother, even when it’s hurtful.  Then again, my parents probably wouldn’t ship me off to juvie, just because they found a doobie in my bag.  So, who knows?

 Maybe all of this weirdness is simply because Maya is “A” . . .

Emily must have been giving all of this some serious thought, because she shows up at Maya’s house, before school the following morning to apologize for her (comparably small) part in their argument . . .

“This would probably be a bad time for me to ask you, if you had any weed, right?”

Emily opens the conversation by admitting to Maya that she was uncomfortable with the notion of Maya dating boys, but only because she’s uncomfortable with the notion of Maya dating anyone besides her.  (Let’s temporarily forget the fact that Emily has had five romantic relationships on the show, aside from Maya . . . two of them with boys.)  In return, Maya admits that she probably was acting out against Emily’s mom, because she’s still pissed at her for getting her shipped off to druggie camp.  But when it comes to dramatic apologies, Maya certainly doesn’t mess around . . .

OMG!  Maya just redecorated her ENTIRE room to look like an underwater wonderland, JUST BECAUSE Emily missed the pool.  Talk about romantic.  (Of course, you do know, Maya, that whatever you do for Valentine’s Day and her birthday, is going to end up being a SERIOUS letdown, by comparison.) 

If there was ever an appropriate time to exchange “I love yous” with your significant others  . . . this is that time . . .

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Annnnnnd . . . then they had makeup/ underwater wonderland / “we just said I love you for the first time” sex . . .

The first rule of Fight Club is you never talk about fight club . . . with Aria.

Anyone else think that if Aria went into fight club with Holden, she’d kick his ass.  Girlfriend is small . . . but scrappy.  Just ask Fitzy!

So, Aria and Holden are out on another ‘fake date”  . . . which ends up being a “real date,” because both of their “fake dates” conveniently canceled at the same time.  (For the record, this was the first time I started to wonder whether Holden actually has nowhere else to go, while Aria is off with Fitzy, and simply uses the “fake date” as an excuse to get out of the house.  It would certainly explain his awkwardness, when Aria announced that her date was canceled, as well as his insistence that he and Aria see one another as much as possible.  More on that, in a bit  . . .)

Studies show that a good way of determining whether someone is lying is to watch their eyes when they talk.  Liars tend to avert their eyes, when speaking to you, by looking above you, or to the side of you, while they  are speaking.  See above.

One of the fun things about watching Aria and Holden play air hockey together, was how genuinely innocent and angst-free it was.  So many relationships on this show, are filled with drama, tears, breakups, and “A” manipulations.  But these two just seemed to enjoy spending time together, and felt comfortable enough with one another to be genuinely goofy.

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So, of course, Holden had to make things dark, by showing off his MASSIVE TUMMY BRUISES, right?

OK, so I have a few theories as to where Holden got that bruise on his stomach.  Here they are, in no particular order:

(1)  Holden is secretly Tyler Durden from Fight Club.

(2) Holden suffers physical abuse at home.  And goes on fake dates with Aria, simply to get out of the house, because he is terrified of being alone with his abuser.   (See above)

(3) Holden is also involved in a Forbidden Relationship, only those who are opposed to it are A LOT more upfront about their dissatisfaction than Bad Dad Byron and his sleazy “associate deanship” plans . . .

(4) Holden has been hired by Blind Jenna to do the N.A.T. club’s dirty work (just as Caleb was, earlier on in the season).  Generally, he just spies on the girls.  But once, she had him pick up Ali’s secret box.  The bruise is from where Hanna hit him with her car, during his getaway . . .

Do you guys like any of these?  I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts .  . .

You take the high road, I’ll take the NAKED road . . .

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Toward the beginning of the episode, Hanna’s mom warned Hanna to play nice with Evil Stepsister Kate, or they’d both end up looking like trash.  Obeying her mother’s wishes might be easier said than done for Hanna, especially when she’s being freezed out by all her friends and her boyfriend, and continues to receive texts like this one from “A” . . .

So, remember when Ashley Marin stole money from that old lady, and hid it in a lasagna box.  And then the old lady DIED?  Yeah, I thought the PLL writers forgot about that too.  But apparently, “A” remembers  .  . .

Of course, it’s not the reference to the lasagna box in A’s message that confuses Hanna, it’s the reference to her techno boy toy Caleb, who, as far as she’s concerned, stopped investigating A’s phone, when Hanna “blended” the flashdrive containing all it’s intel.  Not wanting to break their pact with Caleb, the rest of the girls are frustratingly evasive with Hanna, when she inquires about this . . . even going as far as to suggest that A is just flat out WRONG.

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Silly little liars!  Everyone knows that A is NEVER wrong, especially Hanna . . .  So, she pulls Spencer aside, and asks her flat out, whether the rest of the girls are blowing her off, because they are mad about what she did with the flashdrive.  Spencer denies this, but awkwardly so.  (Breaking up with Toby, has apparently turned Hanna into a really sh*tty liar.) 

And a sh*tty litte dresser . . . 

This prompts Hanna to angrily remind Hanna that she did what she did to protect Caleb, and she would do the same thing for any of the little liars.  Oddly enough, in actually, that’s exactly what the rest of the liars THINK they are doing for her.

Meanwhile, Hanna is trying to figure out what exactly Kate is up to that is prompting her to be so sickeningly sweet to Hanna and her friends.  (We’ll find out soon enough.)

“Is your head going to start spinning around, and start spewing out green stuff?  Or are you more of a Paranormal Activity, watch me while I sleep, and then throw me into a video camera after you eat my heart out, type demon?”

Meanwhile, Spencer is just trying to figure out where the f*&k she remembers Evil Stepsister Kate from, aside from the ill-fated wedding . . .

 

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(I suspect the costume department wanted Spencer to wear a ridiculous Sherlock Holmes hat, while she was doing her investigation, just to add to the humor of this plotline.)

Later, in gym class, the show producers make a point to show us how Hanna puts her cell phone in her bag, which she then stupidly throws into her locker, WITHOUT LOCKING IT . . .

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Then we see Kate lingering, an oddly long time in front of her locker, as if she can’t get it open.  Though everyone else is already in their gym uniforms, she is suspiciously still dressed.  And you’ll see why that’s important, in a little bit.  Of course, it’s this moment when Spencer finally figures out exactly where she knows Kate from . . .

Apparently, Melissa was Kate’s camp counselor, back when Kate was a loner loser with a Face Bug Bite problem.  And Spencer has the pictures to prove it!  I do love when Spencer gets into protective mode for her pals.  I think we all could use a friend like Spencer in our lives.

Anyway, spencer not-so-subtly warns Kate that if she mistreats Hanna, Spencer will expose her for the Bug Bitten B*tch she is.  Of course, Spencer strongly suspects that Kate will ruin her own reputation, long before this can happen, simply by being her awful, nasty, self . . .

“Ooh, I should really threaten you back, but I can’t think of another horse metaphor to use . . .” 

I actually think that Spencer’s words were what inadvertently gave Kate the idea to steal Hanna’s phone, if she hadn’t been planning to do it, already . . .

Later that night, Spencer and Hanna meet up at Spencer’s house.  Spencer is happy not to have to spend another night alone sniffing Toby’s undershirt.  And Hanna is just happy she’s let back into the ‘inner circle.”  Spencer even rewards Hanna, by showing her the promised picture of Evil Stepsister Kate and her Evil Bug Bites.  Hanna is impressed with her friend’s super sleuthing, not to mention VERY pleased with the results . . .

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But the friendly outing goes south fast, when Hanna finds the picture of Ali’s faux-license in Spencer’s phone, and realizes precisely what Caleb and the rest of the PLL girls have been hiding from her, these past few days . . .

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Hanna later confronts Caleb with this discovery, who perhaps doesn’t feel quite as guilty as he should, since he’s still not sure why Hanna was so adamant about him not investigating the phone in the first place.  Hanna then tells Caleb about the whole “money in the lasagna box” thing, and admits that the person who’s phone he has, is the one who’s been taunting her with knowledge of this information.

I was kind of glad Hanna trusted Caleb enough to tell him this, especially since she hasn’t been able to tell any of her friend, and I know the secret has been weighing heavily on her, for quite some time.  I also love that Caleb (a) accepted the information without any judgment, and (b) immediately went into protective boyfriend mode by heading straight to Blind Jenna’s house to threaten her against hurting Hanna.  (I guess he assumes this is her phone.)

Of course, Police Boy Garrett intercepts Caleb the minute he sets foot on Blind Jenna’s porch.  Clearly, business is very slow in the Rosewood Police Force, since Police Boy Garrett seems to have nothing better to do than to hang out in coffee shops, and sit outside Blind Jenna’s house for hours, waiting for visitors.

“Hey, Caleb!  I’ve been sitting in this cop car doing nothing all day, and I’m super board.  Wanna sit with me.  We can watch Blind Jenna’s window, and play Angry Birds on my iPhone!” 

Did you catch how Police Boy Garrett made reference to Caleb’s former job working for “A” as Blind Jenna’s spy, and how he’s since been replaced by someone else?  I actually think this seemingly throwaway line was important for two reasons.  (1) Continuity, yay!  Caleb’s shady past is another thing the writers seemed to have conveniently forgotten, up to this point.  (2)  Who exactly is Blind Jenna’s new henchman?  Is it Noel, as the PLL girls seem to suspect?  Or is it someone closer to the PLL girls .  . . like Maya . . . or Holden?

Oh!  Good news!  Spencer and Hanna kissed and made up.  Well . . . they didn’t really kiss, but, you know what I mean . . .

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“Have you been eating cheeseburgers again?” 

They’ve also uncovered a potentially HUGE clue about Ali’s death .  . .

Hanna recalls seeing Ali wearing a black wig, and masquerading as someone named Vivian Darkbloom, while at a beauty salon.  (Don’t you think a beautician would figure out that the person who’s hair they are working on was wearing a wig, when they .  . . oh . . . I don’t know .  . . TRIED TO WASH THEIR CLIENT’S HAIR?)

Now you see it . . . 

Now, you don’t . . . 

Suspecting that Ali might have used the new look and fake identity, in order to investigate her stalker “A.”  Super Sleuth Spencer researches the name Vivian Darkbloom on the internet.  She quickly discovers that Vivan Darkbloom was a character in the book Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov, and is also an anagram for the author’s name.  Ahh . . . I love with PLL gets all nerdy and literary!

I read Lolita.  The book was both fascinating and skeevy at the same time.  Surely, it can’t be an accident that the show’s writers choose to reference a book about an older man who falls in love with a tempestuous and manipulative early teen, considering how many age inappropriate relationships exist on this show . . .

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Hanna recalls stealing the book from Ali, for some inexplicable reason.  (Weird . . . Hanna is probably the least literary of the four girls.)  But when she retrieves it,  out falls some old claim ticket “Vivian Darkbloom” had for a storage locker.  Spencer calls the number and makes an appointment to retrieve the contents of the locker, since the REAL Vivian Darkbloom never will . . .

Ahhh . . . the plot . . . it thickens . . .

Over at school, everyone’s gossiping about a phone message that was apparently sent to the entire student body from .  . . wait for it . . . Hanna Marin.  Yes, because apparently Hanna Marin is a child pornographer . . .

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Honestly, I’m a bit annoyed at the rest of the PLL girls for even thinking, for a second, that Hanna would do something so patently disgusting, especially when she had so much riding on not rocking the boat with Evil Stepsister Kate.  Of course, the minute Hanna insists that she DIDN’T send the picture, the girls immediately assume that “A” did.  Personally . . . I think Kate sent it herself.

I mean, think about it, Kate gets to look like the poor innocent victim, while  Hanna looks, to use her mom’s own words, “like trash.”  Hanna could get expelled for doing something like this, and possibly even face criminal charges for child pornography.  It would also MURDER her relationship with her dad.  Beyond that, the picture looks totally posed, and almost too perfect to be candid.  So, I’m thinking that Kate used Hanna’s phone to snap it herself, while the rest of the girls were in gym class . . .

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Whoever it was that sent the nudie pic, whether it was “A,” or Kate, or even Hanna herself . . . girlfriend has some SERIOUS EXPLAINING to do . . .

Oh, and by the way, “A” stole a gun from Spencer’s dad’s drawer.  Wasn’t that sweet of her?

Next week on PLL . . .

And here’s what our friends in Canada had to say .  . .

Until next time, my Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com][FangirlsForever]

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I’m not crying . . . It’s just raining on my face. – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “The Blonde Leading the Blind”

Greetings, my Pretties!  Oh, rainy days!  They can be good for so many things . . . like staring longingly out the window . . . or staring longingly out the window AND CRYING . . . or stopping traffic with a soggy, impromptu, supposedly secret, makeout session.

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Rain can make our secret emotions bubble up to the surface.  It can also give us REALLY bad hair . . .

Remember Paige?  Nobody else does . . .

This week’s rainy day installment of Pretty Little Liars was filled with shocking reveals, terrifying twists, lies, betrayals, makeups, breakups, and a whole lot of very wet faces . . .

But, sadly, no shower scenes . . .

Let’s review, shall we?

Reasons why you should invest in a good lock for your bedroom door . . .

“Well, hello there!  My name is Ian.  I’m your friendly neighborhood pedophile!  Don’t mind me.   I’m just here to install a nifty little video camera in your room, so I can watch you get naked, while in the comfort of my own home.”

When we last left our liars, Hanna was grudgingly allowing her Super Hacker and Formerly Homeless Boyfriend to extract the video files from A’s cell phone.  This week, the girls meet up to examine the fruits of his labor.  What they end up finding is quite fruity (fruitful?)

HANNA: “Ick, Ian is so gross.  Why do I feel the sudden need to take a shower?”

SPENCER: *rolls eyes* “Gee, I wonder!”

The video begins with that little episode of Ian / Ali snuff porn we’ve all seen about eighty times before by now.  “I know you wanna kiss me,” coos Ali humiliatingly to the camera.

Poor girl!  Popular and feared as Ali may have been, her lasting legacy ended up being nothing more than a poorly shot sex tape, and some awkward attempts at pillow talk.  Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian can relate . . .

The video then rough cuts to later that night.  Now, Creepy Pedo Ian is installing this same camera in Ali’s bedroom, when in walk . . . wait for it . . . Police Boy Garrett and Blind Jenna.  Now, there’s a party I wouldn’t want to attend.

Police Boy Garrett: “You promised there’d be hot chicks at this party!  WTF man?”

Blind Jenna: *clears throat loudly*

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Unfortunately for Spencer, the self-proclaimed “NAT Club” doesn’t dance.  What it does do, is bicker with one another, and search aimlessly for a bunch of videotapes that Ali has apparently stole from the membership.  As for the club’s fourth member, Facelift Vampire Jason, apparently, he’s passed out drunk somewhere . . . drunk ON HUMAN BLOOD . . .

“MWAH-HAHAHA!”

Apparently, NAT club stands for “Never Accomplish Things,” because the threesome (minus one vampire) never find what they are seeking.  They do find Ali’s Magical Mystery Box of SECRETS, however . . . and seem shocked by it’s contents . . .

“So, THAT’S where she’s been hiding our souls . . .”

Of course, we don’t get to see what’s inside the box, because that’s just not how they roll on this show . . .

Then, Police Boy finds out he’s on Candid Creeper Camera, and gets SUPER PISSED at Pedo Ian, for setting him and his lady love up, like that.  I guess Ian was looking for some leverage . . . or perhaps, some company in the showers at the Rosewood Correctional Facility.  Either way, as we know, things didn’t end well for him . . .

. . .  or for Ali, who, we now know, was murdered that same night . . .

“Spencer can’t come to the phone right now . . .”

So, remember two weeks ago, when, in a horny weak moment, Spencer slid into Abs Toby’s Truck of Loooooove, and gave him a tongue bath?

Well, apparently “A” does too.   Because she got an EXTREME CLOSEUP shot of it on camera.  That made “A” angry.  And you wouldn’t like “A” when she’s angry . . .

“Hey Spence .  . . I know you’re freaked out about ‘A’ possibly murdering your boyfriend, and all.   But do you think you could teach me how to kill like that?  I’m testing out some new moves to use on Maya, the next time we go out bar hopping using her completely unnecessary fake ID . . .”

Wouldn’t you know it, not two seconds after Spencer receives that text threatening her boyfriend’s life, who should pull into her driveway, but the Tobster, himself . . .

“This truck is a real chick magnet.”

Abs Toby calls Spencer from his LOOOOOOVE Truck.  This causes Spencer to make the Spencer Face . . .

She then tosses her phone in Emily’s direction, begging her bestie to protect her from the evil sexual urges that are telling her to rush right into that truck and ravage her honey bunny.  Unfortunately for Spencer, Emily’s always been, by far, the worst liar of all the Pretty Little Liars.  Case in point, her words to Abs Toby: “Spencer can’t come to the phone right now,” she says, in robotic answering machine tones . . .

“What?  Why are you looking at me, like that?  Would you rather I have told him we were busy practicing our kissing moves?”

In what’s starting to sound a bit broken record-esque, Abs Toby, once again, begs Emily to tell him what the F is going on with his wackadoo girlfriend, who’s humping him in the car, one minute, and avoiding him like rotten cheese, in the next . . .

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“Pretty please, can I see her?  I’ve recently showered and everything!”

Of course, Emily has no answers that’s she allowed to give him.  So, eventually Toby dejectedly returns to his criminally-under-used-of-late Loooooove Truck, and drives away, sporting a very bad case of these . . .

Everybody Loves a Beard . . .

“Me?  Gay?  Not with this Fozzie Bear hair . . .”

Back at school, the Pretty Little Liars are all complaining about how hard it is to keep their loved ones at bay, in order to protect them from “A”. (Hey!  That rhymed!)  Well, except for Aria, who’s complaining about how Fitzypoo won’t come close enough to Aria to require her protection.  But when Aria gets a little head nod from the curly-haired dude two lunch tables down, the conversation quickly shifts to something on which PLL fans have been speculating ever since the self-proclaimed “Male Little Liar” Holden came to Rosewood a few weeks back . . .

HANNA: *pouts* “Oh!  Aria is so lucky.  I’ve always wanted a gay best friend.”

EMILY: *clears throat loudly*

The PLL girls immediately suspect Holden of being gay, based simply on the fact that he never hit on Aria.  You know, because, apparently, everything with a weiner should want to to stick it in Aria . . .

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To prove her beard is straight, Aria saunters over to Holden and confirms their fake date, for the evening.  Both little liars are strangely evasive about their REAL plans.  But then Aria catches Holden checking out someone who DEFINITELY doesn’t have a weiner, and begins to wonder whether her friends might be jumping the “gay gun” after all . . .

“Well, hello there, little lady.  Ever wonder what it’s like to date a guy who strongly resembles a muppet?”

Be Afraid, Caleb .  . . Be VERY Afraid . . .

“Sure!  I think hacking into a stolen cell phone in public, while sitting two feet away from a cop is a great idea!”

Have you ever had a dream about somebody, and then, when you saw that person the next day, you found yourself irrationally wondering whether that person could tell you had dreamed about them, just by looking at you?  Well, that must be exactly how Caleb feels, when he watches stolen video footage of Police Boy Garrett beating the crap out of Creepy Pedo Ian in Dead Ali’s bedroom, only to find Police Boy Garrett himself, sitting just inches away . . .

“Ahhh, yes.  The camera loves me.  Hey, did I ever tell you about that time I was in the Lizzie McGuire movie?”

Caleb bolts pretty quickly, as soon as lays eyes on the subject of his stolen video . . . so quickly, in fact, that he leaves his keys on the table at the outdoor cafe where he’s working.  Of course, you can count on Police Boy Garrett to inform Caleb of his forgetfulness, in a way that sounds suspiciously like a threat.  Did he know what Caleb was doing?  Probably  . . . it’s not like the idiot tried to hide it at all.  After all, the NAT club KNOWS everything . . . except, perhaps, for where to find it’s own videos . . .

It’s Halloween All Over Again . . .

  . . . maybe that’s why Hanna is dressed up like Pebbles Flintstone . . .

As tends to be the case on this show, the one person who DOESN’T want to play A’s games anymore, ends up being the one to find the next clue.  This time, that person is Hanna.  The blonde is in the process of lecturing the girls to turn Caleb’s STOLEN video contents over to the police (And how exactly are they planning on explaining THAT?  Not to mention the fact that Police Boy Garrett will obviously get to it first), when she “accidentally, opens the head of that ugly doll in which Ali used to hide her own torturous letters from “A,” back in the day.  (There I go, rhyming again . . .)

DOLL: “So THAT’S why my neck’s been killing me lately!”

Most of the letters the girls find were the same ones we saw Ali receive, during the Halloween Special.  And yet, there is another message — signed by “A” herself — that Ali received on that same night, which we never got to see . . . until now . . .

(Side note:  Since most PLL fans generally assumed that the “A” in the letters the girls have been receiving since Season 1 was supposed to stand for Alison, herself, it’s odd that ALISON also got letters from an “A” before she died.  And yet, those fans who believe the Twin Theory of Ali’s murder will find a lot of support for that theory, in this particular clue . . .)

We move into flashback mode, where we are taken back to that faithful Halloween night.  Ali and the girls arrive on her front porch, after Noel Kahn’s “eventful” Halloween party to find a not-so-pleasant surprise . . .

“Someone trashed your porch,” says Captain Obvious Hanna, despite the fact that she’s BEHIND Ali, so Ali clearly saw it first.

Sure enough, there are smashed pumpkins all over Ali’s porch.  One of those pumpkins still has a knife in it’s head, which is attached to a letter hastily scrawled on the back of one of Noel Kahn’s party invitations . . .

“Hey, can you tell me if I have something in my eye?”

The note, which is a thinly-veiled threat to Ali’s pretty little head, ends up being eerily prophetic, especially considering that Ali ended up having her head bashed in by a long metal object . . .  In classic Ali style, she laughs it off, claiming the display is nothing more than a sick joke left by Facelift Vampire Jason’s beer buddies.  And yet, the letter seems to have spooked her enough to insist on the girls spending the night with her at her house.  She clearly doesn’t want to be alone at a time like this.  And, under the circumstances, who could blame her?

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Back in real-time, Spencer unfolds the undoubtedly disturbing letter, and confirms it’s sender.  “A was after Ali, before she was after us,” remarks Little Miss Super Sleuth . . .

Plot?  I hereby pronounce you thickened . . .

The Hypnotic Eyebrows of EEEEEVVVIIILLL . . .

“You are getting very sleepy.  When I snap my fingers, you will wax those hungry caterpillars off your face . . .”

At school, Mona (who’s devastation over her tragic breakup with Bushy Eyebrows Noel has clearly caused her to rip her poor pink shirt to shreds, in an act of mourning) is still giving Hanna the silent treatment, for disobeying the “Hoes before Bros Code,” and not supporting her, during this traumatic time.  In an attempt at closure, Mona skips up to Noel, to very publicly return the necklace he gave her.  But the Bushy Eyebrows win out in the end.  And Noel ends up merely smirking malevolently, as he carelessly tosses the returned necklace in the trash, thereby further exacerbating Mona’s obvious humiliation . . .

Hey Mona . . . a piece of advice: Get back at Bushy Eyebrows, by dating his friend over there.  I mean, that guy is HAWWWWT.  And I bet HE even owns a pair of tweezers .  . .

Hanna rushes to the ladies room to comfort her crying friend.  “He’s a bad guy,” says Hanna, matter-of-factly.  (Ain’t that the understatement of the century?)

“Here, Mona . . . let me lend you my jacket.  I don’t know if you realize this, but there’s a hole in your shirt that is suspiciously close to the nipple area . . .”

“I’ve never met anyone who could lie like that,” sniffles Mona, as mascara runs down her cheeks, raccoon style.  “It’s his eyes . . . I would look in them, and it was like I was hypnotized.”

She’s right . . . those . . . eyebrows . . . so  . . . hairy . . . can’t  . . . look . . . away . . .

(Side note:  I actually think this reference to Noel’s eyes was meant to be an “A” reference.  Since, many times, “A” has been referred to as having “pretty eyes.”  But since I’m almost positive that “A” is a girl, this so-called “clue” kind of fell flat, for me.)

Hanna promises Mona to take her out to dinner for a Bushy Eyebrows Free evening, to which Mona readily agrees.  Once the two leave, we learn that SOMEONE has been listening in on their conversation.  Golly gee, I wonder who that could be?

Surprise!  It’s Blind Jenna . . . who, I guess, didn’t have her eye surgery last week, after all.   (Either that, or she just really likes wearing sunglasses indoors.)  By the way, does anyone else find that Blind Jenna spends an inordinate time lurking in bathrooms?  Maybe she has irritable bowel  syndrome?  That said, Blind Jenna’s listening in on THIS particular conversation, actually has significance later on in the episode . . .

Meet me at the Big Ole Clock . . .

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I wonder if Fitzy is in Aria’s “in” calling network . . . or any of the other little liars’ networks, for that matter.  Because Aria sure does leave him a lot of unanswered voice mails!  You’ve really got to hand it to Aria, though.   She sure is persistent.  We see her here, instructing Fitzy to meet her at 8 p.m. by a big ole clock, to prove to her that the two of them should continue to secretly bone one another.

Over at Hollis a decidedly dejected looking Fitzy stares at his phone for a few loooong seconds, before returning to his work . . .

Forbidden love?  There’s an app for that . . .

Look!  He’s flying . . . or not . . .

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Last week’s episode ended with “A” loosening some hinges on scaffolding in front of Spencer’s house, where Toby used to work as a construction worker.  This week, we get to find out why she did that (assuming, of course, that we never watched the promos, which explain exactly why).  Spencer finds out at school about Toby’s accident, and is understandably devastated .  . . not to mention, she feels partially to blame . . .

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“Oh no!  I hope he didn’t hurt his beautiful abs!”

Spencer and her Spencer face rush to the hospital to find Toby looking surprisingly clean and unblemished (save for an arm cast, considering the major kersplat he made, when he hit the ground . . .

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“Care for some pity sex, considering I nearly DIED for you?”

Oh, I bet you can’t guess who Abs’ Toby’s has for a physician.  I’ll give you hint, he’s GORGEOUS, TASTY, WITTY, has a SUPER SEXY accent, is clearly my future husband, and very well might be the ONLY doctor in Rosewood . . .  Give up?

It’s WRENNNNNNN!  HOOOOOOORAAYY!

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*sighs elatedly. . . takes deep breath*

OK . . . I’m better now.  So, apparently, Wren has not given up on the prospect of a Wrencer courtship.  (This is news, right?)  In a “mark my territory” move that is nearly as effective as peeing on Spencer’s leg, Wren not-so-subtly admits to Abs Toby that he would have married Spencer’s sister if something *cough Spencer’s lips cough* didn’t get in the way.

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(I love how Spencer’s facial expression here is a complete mixture of, “Please stop, you are getting me into trouble,” and “*sings*You REALLY likkkkke me .. . you think I’m sexxxxxxy . . . you want to DATTEEEEE me.”)

The scorching chemistry between these two is not at all lost on Abs Toby, who inquires pointedly, whether there is something Spencer “wants” to tell him.  Cue the text from “A” . . .

 . . . annnnd . .  . Spencer’s speedy departure.  (Bye Wren . . . for now!  We’ll see you soon!  I miss you already!)

That not-so-fresh feeling . . .

One of the really nice things about Spencer dating Toby, and Jenna dating Police Boy Garrett is that we no longer had to witness the vomit-inducing creepiness, of Blind Jenna repeatedly trying to rape her OWN BROTHER . . .

Well, unfortunately, with both couples currently on the outs, it’s . . .

Honestly, I still don’t quite understand the squirm-inducing dynamic of the Toby/Jenna “relationship.”  Take, for example, the speech she makes to him at the hospital.  It is equal parts threatening (“I told you not to go to her house.”  “We’re family whether you like it or not.”) . . . jealous (“She’s haunted.”  “I’m the only one who belongs here.”) . . . and nauseatingly flirtatious (The whole time Jenna is talking to Toby, she’s amorously massaging his leg . . .)

Oh, and to further confuse matters, did I mention that Blind Jenna might have another boyfriend, already?  Or that’s it’s Bushy Eyebrows NOEL?

(Hey, at least we know Noel’s Hypnotic Face Caterpillars can’t hypnotize HER!)

That’s right, when Hanna and Mona head to the restaurant for a Noel-free night on the town, they spot this surprisingly cozy (and yet AWFUL) couple canoodling in the window.   And yet, considering we already know that Blind Jenna overheard the girls’ plans.  They might just be seeing exactly what that biatch wants them to see . . .

But Blind Jenna is not done wreaking havoc all over this episode.  She also has to go and threaten poor Emily at the hospital, and accuse her of WANTING Toby . . . you know . . . in the biblical sense.  HELLO!  Emily’s GAY!  Read the memo, Blind Jenna.  And here I thought you knew everything . . .

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And who’s fault is that, exactly, Blind Jenna?

Meanwhile, in Halebland . . .

Anyone care for an NAT Club Smoothie?

You know that move “The Ring,” where everyone who watches that video with the weird girl popping out of the well dies in SEVEN DAYS?

CALEB: “You know, everyone’s always telling me I look like the male lead in that movie!”

HANNA:  “Oh, you mean the one who ENDED UP DEAD?”

CALEB: “Well . . . yeah . . . but everyone ended up dead, pretty much, except for the lady and her kid, so . . .”

HANNA: “Not helping, Caleb!”

Well, I’m starting to think that’s the case with this USB drive featuring evidence surrounding Ali’s murder.  Hanna, apparently, thinks so too.  Because the minute she learns that Police Boy Garrett might be stalking her boy toy, Hanna lays waste to the USB drive, killing her blender, right along with it . . .

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“You are out of the phone tech business, as of now!”  Hanna warns her boyfriend, in that stern voice typically only used by mommies, and high school principals.

Yeah . . . I don’t know about that, Hanna.  Old habits die hard . . . and some secrets are just too juicy to leave alone . . .

Speaking of alone . . .

Spoby in Crisis . . . AGAIN.

“Awww . . . he looks so cute in there, all doped up on pain killers.  It makes me want to just rush in their, and peek at his abs, one last time.”

Insistent on believing that Abs Toby will never be safe from “A,” as long as the two of them are dating, Spencer asks Emily to do the unthinkable: Dear John Toby for her.  And she does it in the most painful way possible too . .  . by alluding to Spencer’s very real, but not entirely present tense, involvement with another man . . . THIS GUY . . .

As heart-wrenching as it was, this was actually one of my favorite scenes in the episode, simply because of how well-acted it was.  As Emily, Shay Mitchell displayed just the right amount of discomfort, inner turmoil, guilt, and sympathy, over doing something she may or may not agree is the right course of action.  Yet, she knows her friend’s intentions are pure  . . . and wants to honor her wishes . . .

As for Keegan Allen, he portrays Toby in this scene with just the right mixture of hurt, anger, denial, disbelief, and, finally, a grudging, and bewildered acceptance.  Toby asks Emily who the man is with which Spencer is involved.  But deep down, we suspect he already fears he knows the answer . . .

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Poor Wren.  He has no idea what he’s walking into the next morning, when he comes to sign Toby out of the hospital, and is threatened with a beating.  Then again, maybe he does . . .

Cue the maudlin music, the torrential nighttime downpour, and of course, the barrage of rainy faces . . .

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It must have been all that angst, heartache, and RAINNNN that got to me.  Because, when I learned that Toby gave Spencer back the Truck of Loooooooooove, and skipped town (by bus?), leaving only a tersely-worded letter behind, I actually got a little teary . . .

TV Recappers have feelings too, you know . . .

But, in lighter news . . .

How Yoda the College Student Saved Ezria . . .

“A good deed . . . I did do.  But laid . . . I sadly did not get.”

Off our stalwart Aria heads to Philadelphia with Beard Holden on a Date with Destiny . . .

And while the two liars don’t really have enough time to share each other’s Deep Dark Secrets, at least they get that pesky “gay rumor” out of the way.  . .

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OK . . . so, I guess Holden’s not gay.  (He sure could have fooled me.)  He’s doesn’t live in a library (like Caleb).  And he probably never screwed his sister (like Toby), or became addicted to online gambling (like Lucas).  So, what secrets does that leave, exactly? 😉

Sans-beard, Aria traipses off to the Big Ole Clock . . . where she waits . . .

 . . . and waits . . .

“Dammit . . . all this rain is making me have to pee .  . .”

Meanwhile, Fitzy is still in his office, fighting with Yoda student on why the former gave the latter a “B” on his short story . . .

In case you were wondering, the “B” stands for, “B*tch please!  A man’s going to leave his rehearsal dinner to chase after a total stranger?  That’s horse poopy!”

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As Fitzy talks, he begins to realize that he may have adversely graded Yoda student’s paper, due to his having his period being so utterly bereft without his Aria.  And so, being the good little English teacher we know him to be aside from the whole “dating a student” thing, Fitzy kindly agrees to review Yoda student’s story again, when he isn’t in such a fowl mood.  Of course, Yoda student is elated.  So, elated, in fact, that he decides to offer some parting advice to his favorite troubled teacher . . .

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And so, the student has become the teacher.  Inspired by those brilliant words, Fitzy pops into his car, and battles a rain storm, so that he and Aria can stop traffic, engage in one of their trademark slo-mo makeout sessions, carelessly risk getting caught by Aria’s mother, by practically forking in public, and of course, decide to give their relationship another go . . .

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Somewhere north of the Death Star, Yoda Student is doing a little dance of joy . . .

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Got a Secret Can You Keep It . . . From Hanna?

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In what was, perhaps, the most shocking twist of the episode (for me, anyway), Caleb confronts Spencer and Emily to rat out Hanna for the little Information Disappearing Act She Performed with the Blender . . .  Needless to say, Emily and Spencer are LESS than amused . . .

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But then Caleb shocks them even further, by telling them that (1) he kept a copy of the information; and (2) he wants the rest of the PLL’s to keep all of this a secret from Hanna . . . wait for it . . .  to PROTECT HER . . .

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It’s a romantic statement, one that’s clearly filled with good intentions.   And this is undoubtedly why the girls ultimately decide to let Caleb (at least part way) in on their “A” games, and to keep his involvement a secret from Hanna.  Of course, something tells me that Hanna won’t see it that way . . .

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The episode ends with “A” cutting up and burning black-and-white photographs of each of our four main Pretty Little Couples necking . . . you know, because burning stuff is fun . . .

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This reminds me, remember, back in Season 1, when “A” bought those rats that she named “Aria, Emily, Spencer, and Hanna,” and proceeded to MURDER THEM . . .

Yeah, girlfriend REALLY needs to get herself a hobby, STAT!  And that was “The Blonde Leading the Blind” in a nutshell.  Next week on Pretty Little Liars, Hanna gets REVENGE . . . maybe . . . She might just end up crying and pouting, a lot . . .

See you then, my Pretties . . .

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Judge Not, Lest GLEE be Judged! – A Recap of Glee’s “The Funeral”

WILL:  “Just so you know, I’m not wearing any pants under here . . .”

Nothing says “glee-ful,” like a funeral, right?  This week, Fox’s most peppy prime time program, took a turn for the teary, when it focused on the untimely death of the most beloved relative of McKinley High’s LEAST beloved coach . . .

Oops!  I don’t think she liked that remark.

And yet, the episode wasn’t an ENTIRE cryfest.  We also got to experience, a few tour de force musical numbers, a sentimental tribute to Will Schuester’s impressive sweater vest collection . . .

Hopefully, now that he’s given all of his clothing away, we’ll get to see more of THIS Mr. Schue . . .

 . . . and, perhaps, most importantly, we got to watch Jesse St. James metaphorically make breakfast on the heads of all the Glee club members that AREN’T Rachel Berry . . .

“I already got MINE, guys!  Now it’s your turn!”

So, wipe that egg off your face, and keep some Kleenex on hand for a good cry, because it’s time for your weekly Gleecap!

New Directions, New Villains and Zombies Who Like to Poop . . .

Any guesses as to how many innocent bottles of hairstyling gel were harmed in the making of this photo still?

It’s almost time for Nationals, Gleeks!  And you know what that means!  It’s time for the Glee kids to fight with one another over who gets a solo!  (YAY!) 

For reasons that completely defy the imagination, Will decides to use his perpetually miniscule budget to hire a “show choir consultant” to help New Directions succeed in its upcoming competition.  And who better for the job, then the college dropout, who broke Rachel’s heart, and completely screwed over the club last year, by pretending to be one of its members, and ditching them at the very last minute, to sing for the enemy?

How could you not trust THIS face?

That’s right, boys and girls!  It’s Jesse St. Jack Ass, reporting for duty!  And if he wasn’t so friggin hot, I’m sure I’d have lots more bad stuff to say about him . . .

Jesse informs Will and Will mindlessly agrees, because he apparently packed his brain and soul in the same box as his sweater vests that the ONLY way for New Directions to win Nationals, is if they focus their entire performance around the club’s “best” singer.  In Jesse’s defense, this DOES seem to be the strategy most commonly employed by McKinley High’s most formidable opponents.  Take, for example, Vocal Adrenaline . . .

. . . and, of course, who could forget, The Warblers . . .

Of course, Finn, the humble soul that he is, suggests that he and Rachel lead the club in a duet.  At which point Quinn (who would rather give birth to another illegitamate child, than see Rachel and her boyfriend eye f*&king eachother on stage) “kindly” reminds her “honey” that this was precisely the strategy that lost New Directions the Regional competition to Vocal Adrenaline last year.

“Don’t make me go all Lucy Caboosey on your ass!”

Adding insult to injury is St. Jackass, who tells Finn that the latter is not particularly talented at singing OR dancing.  Oh, also, according to Jesse, when Finn performs, he looks like a “zombie who likes to poop.”  This, of course, begs the question of what, exactly, a “Pooping Zombie” looks like . . .  I’m going to guess that it looks something like this . . .

 

 . . . combined with THIS .  . .

 . . . and mixed with a little of THIS . . .

(Mean or not . . . you’ve got to admit, the Jackass has a point) . . .

So, Will decides to hold “auditions” for his Glee kids to determine which of them gets to be the New Directions’ equivalent of Blaine Warbler . . .

So . . . pretty . . . cannot . . . look . . . away.

Try a Lack of Tenderness . . .

“The competition is ON, like Donkey Kong!”

Under normal circumstances, I suspect that the ENTIRE Glee club would have auditioned for the solo role at Nationals.  However, since Finn was busy perfecting his Defecating Dead Guy Face . . .

 . . . and since half of the episode was spent on Sue’s storyline the rest of the cast was . . . ummmm . . . washing their hair that day, the only ones who actually auditioned for the spot were Rachel (SURPRISE!), Kurt (SHOCKER!), Santana, and Mercedes . . .

  First up was Santana, who sang Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black.”

Her performance was pretty darn awesome.  And the fact that she did it stone cold SOBER unlike the REAL Amy Winehouse was majorly impressive.  She was also wearing an adorable outfit during her performance, which certainly doesn’t hurt (See above – I WANT THIS!).  Though, I must say, given Santana’s usual “take no prisoners” personality, I was a bit disappointed that when singing the line, “He kept his _______ wet,” she replaced the word “dick” with the, significantly less naughty (and, therefore, much less fun), “lips.”

What exactly do you have against ‘dicks’, Santana?” 😉

You can check out Santana’s entire performance, by clicking the internal link below . . .

Though Will thought this performance was “fabulous,” Jesse was underwhelmed, claiming that Santana missed the “emotion of the song.”  Personally, I think Jesse was just offended by the lack of “dick” in the number.  Think I’m exaggerating?  Then explain this to me:  Why did Jesse draw a picture of a puss . . . er . . . I mean . . . a cat, in his notepad, while Santana was singing? 

What’s new, Pussy Cat? 

Let that be a lesson to you, Santana:  Censorship is BAD!

Next up was Kurt.  He sang “Some People” from the Broadway Play Gypsy.  And it was. . . well . . . very . . . KURT-y.  That’s probably the best way to describe it . . .

I think part of the problem with the performance for me, was that my mind kept wandering during it.  I kept getting distracted by those bizarre skull and crossbone flare pants Kurt wore on stage, coupled with hisweird “tied in the back like a paint smock” vest.  Seriously, who DRESSES this kid?  Edward Scissorhands?

One thing that can be said for Kurt though, he is VERY FLEXIBLE!  Check out this move he managed to do, at the end of the musical number . . .

Blaine APPROVES!

But you know who DOESN’T approve of Kurt?  Jesse!  He wonders if Kurt is aware that “Some People” is a “Girl Song.”  “I make my living singing “Girl Songs” Kurt explains.  Point well taken, Kurt.  But that still doesn’t explain those ridiculous pants . . .

You can check out Kurt’s performance by clicking on the link below:

Third up was Mercedes.  She sang Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness,” which, if you are an afficionado of cheesy 80’s movies like me, you will remember as the song Jon Cryer’s Duckie absolutely KILLED (in a good way), during the film, Pretty in Pink . . .

If Santana’s and Kurt’s performances were good, Mercedes was AMAZING!  (Though, admittedly, her dancing abilities are nowhere near up to par with those of the Duckster!)  Even Jesse St. Jackass let out a “WOW,” when Mercedes belted out the song’s extremely challenging refrain.

This one is going on my ipod, FOR SURE!  You can check the performance out, for yourself, below . . .

And yet, despite being obviously impressed by Mercedes vocal range, Saint Jackass still had little nice to say about McKinley High’s most unapologetic diva.  He even went as far as to call the poor girl, of all things . . . LAZY!

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After Mercedes kindly offered to allow Jesse to “taste her fist,” Rachel took the stage with, you guessed it, her 85,000th Barbra Streisand song.

Now, I know . . . “Babs” is supposed to be Rachel’s “idol” and all . . . but COME ON!  Enough is enough!  There ARE other singers on this planet besides Barbra, that sing ballads, you know!

Anyway, Rachel sang a song called “My Man.”  Believe it or not, I had actually never heard the song, before the episode aired.  And I don’t particularly want to hear it again. 

Performance-wise, Rachel, as usual, did a fine job . . . well . . . except for two things: (1) she kept picturing Finn throughout the number, which was . . . nauseating annoying, to say the least; and (2) she made these weird, sort of constipated, facial expressions throughout the number.  Perhaps, Rachel’s Great Love for Finn is starting to make her emote like he does . . .

If you are a Rachel fan, and/or a Barbra Streisand fan, you will definitely want to check out the link below . .  .

You know who’s a HUGE Rachel fan?  Jesse St. Jackass!

OK . . . so, he might not have been such a big fan, back then.  But he’s definitely one now!  And because he really wants to touch Rachel’s Berries admires her work, St. Jackass has absolutely nothing bad at all to say about his ex girlfriend’s performance.  In fact, he thinks the Glee club’s Nationals’ performance should revolve around her . . . again.

Despite Jesse’s endorsement, however, Will ultimately decides that, rather than award ANY ONE GLEE KID a solo, the ENTIRE Glee club will sing original songs TOGETHER at Nationals . . . thereby making this entire audition process a whole load of poo.

“Haha!  Jokes on YOU, Gleeks!”

The audition process wasn’t a TOTAL loss, however.  It DID help Saint Jackass move one step closer to popping Rachel Berry’s cherries!

“Stop staring at my boobs, ya perv!”

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In other news . . .

A Farewell to Arms Sweater Vests

Will Schuester, this is your ‘What Not to Wear’ Fasion Intervention.”

So, remember a few weeks back, when April invited Will to be in her lame ass Broadway show with her?  Well, it turns out he’s going!  In doing so, he’s leaving EVERYONE and EVERYTHING behind him, including the Glee kids, Emma, and those HIDEOUS sweater vests.  Of course, Will hasn’t told his students this yet, because we need some sort of cliffhanger in the season finale he doesn’t want to distract them from winning Nationals. 

While at Will’s house helping him pack, Emma tells Will that she remembers the sweater vest he wore when they first met.  I can’t decide whether I think that is really sweet, or incredibly disturbing.  So, the next day, Emma shows up at school WEARING THAT VEST . .  .

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(OK .  . . I’ve made my decision, now . . . I’m going to go with “incredibly disturbing.”  Thank you very much.)

Hmmm . . . let’s see, what else happened this week? . . . Oh yeah . . . the funeral.

Pure Imagination

It started like any other episode, with Sue and Terri trying to foil the Glee club’s plans to fly to New York, by rerouting their plane to Libya.  (Libya?  Really?)  But then we learned that Sue had kicked Becky off of the Cheerios.  And things got pretty maudlin, pretty fast . . .

When Will finds out about this, he confronts Sue about her incredible lack of sensitivity.  Sue surprises Will by explaining that she kicked Becky off the Cheerios, because Becky reminds her too much of her older sister, Jean, who died of pneumonia in her sleep the night before.  As is often the case in these type of situations, Sue blames herself for not being there for Jean, during her final moments.

Will informs the Glee kids of Sue’s loss.  And, despite their extremely contentious relationship with the cheerleading coach, the kids arrive at her office, flowers and stuffed animals in hand, to pay their respects . . .

Finn and Kurt, both of whom know personally what it is like to lose a close family member, are particularly sympathetic to Sue, when she explains that she is too emotionally overwrought to sort through Jean’s personal items at the nursing home, or plan her funeral.  So, the pair (who have already planned a FABULOUS wedding for their parents – remember?) commandeer the Glee club to help out an Enemy in Need. 

Upon learning that Jean loved the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the Glee kids decorate the funeral home, with the film in mind, adorning Jean’s coffin with extra large lollipops, gumdrops, candycanes, and, of course, Everlasting Gobstoppers. 

Now, no offense to Jean (may she rest in peace), but, am I the only one who finds the Willy Wonka movie POSITIVELY TERRIFYING?  I mean, think about it, this is a story about kids that, as a result of some pretty minor infractions, turned blue and obese, drowned in chocolate, got shrunk to ant size, were attacked by squirrels, and got dropped down loooong trash chutes. 

Just sayin’

Poorly-selected theme aside, the funeral was a truly beautiful one.  It featured, among other things, Sue’s heart-tugging speech about her sister (which Will kindly read for the typically-stone cold educator, when she became too choked up to continue), uplifting videos of the deceased, during happier times . . .

. . . and the Glee kids tear-jerking performance of the song “Pure Imagination,” which was featured in the original film. 

Oddly enough, the event inspired Finn to break up with Quinn, in the parking lot outside the funeral home.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Quinn fan, at all!  And I never particularly cared for Finn and Quinn as a couple.  But SERIOUSLY?  Talk about BAD TIMING!  I mean, how insensitive can you get?

“Are you friggin kidding me, Poopy Zombie?”

Of course, any sympathy I may have had for Quinn was lost, the moment she told Finn that she didn’t mind if he continued to have feelings for Rachel, provided he dated Quinn through next year, so that the pair had another shot of winning Prom King and Queen.

Obviously, a girl who makes THIS kind of request of the boyfriend, who is clearly trying to dump her for SOMEONE ELSE, is either extremely shallow, or has pitifully low self esteem.  (Maybe a little bit of both?)  That being said, Quinn’s emotional exit from the car following the Big Dump, illustrated that the Wanna-Be Prom Queen’s feelings for Finn may, in fact, be deeper than she would like the casual onlooker to believe . . . 

Oh, and she also threatened to do something naughty to Finn at Nationals.  Hmmm . . . I wonder what she’s planning . . .

Hide your bunnies and your balls, Finn!

The question is: now, that Finn has FINALLY made up his mind until he inevitably changes it again, can he win back Rachel, before she falls headfirst into the ass of Jesse St. Jackass?  Do we really care? 

Only time will tell . . .

In other potential Character Redemption News, by way of saying “Thanks for the funeral,”  Sue has decided that she no longer wants to send the Glee kids to their certain deaths in Libya.  (PROGRESS!) She’d much rather . . . run for a seat in the House of Representatives?

You’ve really gotta love a Random Plot Point, like this one!

Oh, and she let Becky back into the Cheerios, even going as far as to offer the loveable teen the position of Captain, for the following year. 

When the tightly-knit pair hugged one another, toward the end of the episode, I must admit, I got a little misty-eyed .  . .

Did I mention that Will’s ridiculously annoying ex Terri (she of the fake pregnancies, and such) is moving to Miami to become manager of the Bed, Bath and Beyond Sheetz n’ Things store, down there? 

Sayonara Sucka!

Or that this SAME woman randomly decided to get the ENTIRE GLEE CLUB first class tickets to New York for Nationals?  (The “Sheetz” in Lima must pay REALLY WELL!)  Yeah . . . I thought it was totally random too. 

But, instead of talking about side characters, who I DON’T care about very much, let’s talk about ones that I actually LIKE . . . who were totally missing from this episode . . .

Where’s the Beiste?

And the Sunshine?

And why the F*&K didn’t PUCK have any lines or shirtless scenes this week?

Next week, is Glee season finale!  (Can you believe this show has been on  for two full seasons already?) In honor of the Big Event, the entire cast will be heading to New York City for the National competition! 

You can check out the promo for this Sure-to-Be-Epic episode HERE:

So, my fellow Gleeks, the time has come for you to make your predictions:  Will New Directions  beat out Sunshine Corazon and her Vocal Adrenaline teammates, this year?  Or are they destined for yet another crushing defeat?  You’ll have to tune in next week, in order to find out.  See ya then!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Dance Your Pants Off! – A Recap of Glee’s “Prom Queen”

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“You can get married as many times as you want, but there is only one prom,”  says Quinn Febray, during Glee’s epic PROM EPISODE. 

“This is how I decided to spend the alimony payments from each of my five ex-husbands.  One lame tiara, for each lame man.”

Ahhh . . . the Prom Episode, every teen show has one.  And only some of them are actually worth watching.  After all, when it comes to prom episodes, there’s a whole lot of CLICHE to go around:  the Pre-Prom Pictures, the Ugly Duckling Transformation, the Long, Slow Walk Down the Stairs, while the Admiring Boyfriend Looks On, the Inevitably Fight Over a Girl (or Guy), the Romantic Slow Dance Moment, and, of course, the crowning of the Prom’s King and Queen.  And with cliches, comes a WHOLE LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES to be unmemorable . . .

A MAJOR Opportunity for a Cliche is RIGHT HERE!  It’s a GOOD THING that these two didn’t win Prom King and Queen.  That’s all I’m saying!  (Oh, and Finn?  1985 called.  It REALLY wants your powder blue cumberbund back . . .)

Fortunately, Glee’s “Prom Queen” managed to deftly sidestep all of the typical Prom Episode Traps that were just waiting to trip it up.  The result was a genuinely fun-filled, toe-tapping, heart warming, tear-inducing, hour of television. 

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Oh, you RIDE THAT PONY, Santana!  Ride it hard!

My fellow Gleeks, the time has come to zip up those dresses, strap on the corsages, spike the punch, and practice dancing the night away, in those ridiculously uncomfortable high heels.  In the iconic words of Sam Evan’s “Who’s ready for some PROM?”

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I Love it When Glee Gets All Self-Deprecating and Self-Referential!

“Give me back my BALLS, B*tch!”

The moment I knew that I was going to LOVE this week’s installment of Glee occurred about two minutes into the episode, when Jacob Ben-Israel shoved a microphone in Puck’s face, and asked him a question that was purportedly given to him by “fans at home: “Where does Lauren keep your balls?”

“Fans from Home,” INDEED!  I think MANY of us have been asking ourselves this very question, ever since the writers made the BIZARRE decision to couple Puck and Lauren, back during the Valentine’s Day episode.   So, it’s comforting to know that at least SOMEONE in the writers’ room is listening.  Because, as much as I desperately want to have sex with ADORE my Sexy Puck-meister . . .

. . . even I must admit that he does act a tad “Neutered Puppy”-esque when hanging around a certain Full-Figured Female.

Cute?  Definitely!  Bad Ass?  Not exactly . .  .

 And did you notice how Puck and Lauren had virtually no scenes together, this week?  I smell PROGRESS! 

Strike THREE, Zizes!  YOU’RE OUT!

That being said, the fact that Puck chose to “up his street cred” this week, by (1) NOT spiking the Prom Punch; and (2) rocking out to a rather annoying song written by a 13-year old, leads me to question whether or not Lauren not only chopped off his manhood when she started dating him, but gave him a LOBOTOMY too . . .

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That being said, I still want to attend a party in his pants . . .

In other META-news, when Principal Figgins asks Mr. Schue if his Glee kids could perform at prom (Apparently, Air Supply canceled AGAIN!  Stupid Air Supply!) . . .

. . . Sue Sylvester pipes in with a list of all of the WORST SONGS EVER PERFORMED on Glee by the Glee Club.  Included on this list, of course, are . . .

“Run, Joey, Run”

(Coincidentally, it is from the video of “Run, Joey, Run” that I obtained my absolute FAVORITE, and, admittedly, very much overrused, Sexy White-Tank Wearing Puck GIF, which you may have noticed above.)

AND . . .

 that ridiculous “Hair” / “Crazy in Love” Mashup . . .

Now, THIS was REALLY BAD!

One thing that’s gotta be said for Glee, when the show messes up, at least it’s willing to ADMIT IT . . . most of the time, anyway.

So, Who’s YOUR Prom Date?

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Was it just me, or did Brittany seem unusually smart, this week?  Perhaps, when Lauren cut off the frontal lobe of Puck’s brain, she ended up donating it to the web host of Fondue for Two . . .

There was a bit of intrigue, early on in the episode, regarding which Glee kids would take which other Glee kids to prom.  (Because, HEAVEN FORBID, any of them take NON-CAST MEMBERS, right?)  I mean, we already knew that Finn was going to take Quinn (yawn), Mike was going to take Tina (zzzzzz), Puck was going to take Lauren (BOO!), and Santana and Karofsky were going to be eachother’s closeted dance partners.  But it was interesting to see the, usually proud and independent, Mercedes so decidedly bummed about not having a date .  . .

MERCEDES:  “I can’t understand why no one has asked me to prom yet?”

RACHEL:  “Do you think it might have something to do with the fact that you are wearing a HUGE, SCARY OPEN MOUTH on your chest?”

Some have argued that Mercedes sudden interest in having a boyfriend, when she has seemed to show NO INTEREST WHATSOEVER, in the past, seems out of character, and more like a Plot Device, than anything else.  However, I kind of feel like Mercedes is someone who hides her insecurities behind a cloak of false bravado.  And, as such a person, she would sooner knock something she can’t have, than admit that she truly wants it.  That being said, I love that Mercedes’ friendship with Rachel has evolved to the point where the former can be truly honest with the latter, about her hopes and dreams. 

Ho’s Before Bro’s!

Speaking of Rachel, we all know she can be SUPER selfish sometimes.  So, it was really refreshing to see her take others’ needs into consideration, this week. 

Finny LIKE!

She did this by orchestrating a group date between Mercedes, Sam, and herself so that (1) all of them had dates to the prom; and (2) Sam’s financial situation did not keep him from attending.  Way to go, Rach!

Trouty Mouth is very pleased!

“I am a TOTAL PIMP!”

Meanwhile, Blaine struggles with his own insecurities about attending prom with Kurt, as a result of a traumatic experience, during Blaine’s public school days, when he was beat up for attending a Sadie Hawkins dance with one of his gay friends . ..

In an Awesome Mutually Mature Boyfriend Moment, Kurt, despite obviously REALLY wanting to attend the prom, tells Blaine that he would be willing to skip the event, if Blaine feels uncomfortable with it.  Likewise, Blaine, though clearly not without reservations, loves Kurt so much, that he is willing to face up to his deepest, darkest, fears in order to make Kurt happy.  (By the way, I love how, when Kurt asks Blaine to the prom he actually refers to him as “Blaine Warbler.”  SO CUTE!) 

LOL!  The maker of this picspam and I clearly share a brain. . .

Secretly hoping that their public acts of kindness will win them points in the Prom King and Queen Race, Team Beard, Santana and Karofsky offer to give Kurt round the clock protection from bullying (well . . . at least during school hours).

This inevitably results in some VERY interesting and intense moments between Kurt and Karofsky, which I plan to discuss more fully in just a bit.  But, for now, let’s talk about Artie . . .

Dear, sweet, Artie!  You broke my heart many times over this week, from your Fashion Disaster Prom Wardrobe (Elvis Hair?   Orange Suit?  Ruffled Shirt?  NO!  NO and HELL NO!), to your defeated (and, let’s face it, slightly pathetic) acceptance of torture at the hands of Sue Sylvester.  But nothing you did this week, broke my heart like your failed serenade of Brittany. 

“I know you are mad at me now, but I was wondering if you would possibly be interested in having a threesome with Santana and me?  Best of both worlds, right?”

Sure, you called her stupid, which was probably the ONE thing you could have said to Brittany that would get her to dump you.  And, yes, you kind of added insult to injury, by singing, of all songs, Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” to her, which is, after all, a song about a NEWBORN BABY . . .

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The lyrics, “Less than ONE MINUTE OLD,” should have probably clued you in to that one . . .

But still, to be shot down, in front of an ENTIRE HOME ECONOMICS class, because your ex tells you that she would rather go to her prom ALONE, and have hot sex with Santana dance with lots of random guys, instead of YOU . . . now that’s GOTTA HURT!  Artie, if I wasn’t sure it would give me a painful electrical shock (I’ve actually tried this before . . . “smart” . . . I know), I probably would have hugged you right through the television screen . . .

Everybody Loves Rachel . . . for a change (well, except, maybe, for Quinn)

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Yes!  They are fighting over ME!  Rachel Berry!  Everybody loves ME!  I’m awesome. Oh, boys!  Stop fighting!  This is terrible!  Someone is going to get hurt . . . and I can’t afford to break my nose, again.”

Rachel Berry may already have TWO dates to the prom.  But she’s about to get at least one more (and, if Eye F*&king counts as “dating,” possibly TWO more).  We see Rachel practicing her solo number for the prom, Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.”  Then, seemingly out of nowhere (Seriously, is there NO security at this school?) Jesse St. James magically appears in the auditorium, transforming her already highly emotive solo into an extremely sexually-tense duet . . .

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You can check out the pair’s full performance here . . .

Whatever you may have felt about the so-called “St. Berry pairing” back in Season 1, and it’s unfortunate, not to mention, completely out-of-the-blue, ending . . .

Sunny side down?

 . . . the sexual chemistry between Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele is undeniable (which is odd, considering that Groff is so clearly GAY).  And never is the pair more on fire, than when they are mutually breaking into song.  If you recall, this is precisely how the couple’s relationship first began . . .

JESSE: “I’ve always wanted to have sex with a woman on top of a piano.  It’s very Pretty Woman.”

RACHEL:  “But we are in a library . . . and there are old people in the background, watching us.”

JESSE: “Doesn’t that turn you on?”

RACHEL: “Not really.”

JESSE:  “Work with me here.  I’m trying to get you laid.”

Though, admittedly, I prefer the original Adele version of “Rolling in the Deep” to what “Rachel and Jesse” performed here, both the acting and directing of this scene are positively flawless.  I love the way the singers’ facial expressions alternate from almost angry, to wistful, to attracted, to indifferent, to competitive, and, finally, to joyous at various points throughout the number.  I also appreciate the way Rachel and Jesse circle one another around the piano, as they sing, engaging in what seems to be a strange, and undoubtedly sexual, mating dance between predator and prey . . . lover and scorned . . . where the participants are each simultaneously playing both roles.

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JESSE:  “There is something different about you.  Did you get a nose job?”

RACHEL: “No, Jesse!  I decided against doing that.  Geez!  Don’t you watch Glee?”

As it turns out, Jesse, who was supposedly a senior in high school, during the show’s first season, has (conveniently) dropped out of college, and now (also conveniently) wishes to start his own business as a consultant to Glee Clubs and show choirs.  His reason for breaking into McKinley High?  Well, it seems to be two-fold: 

(1) He wishes to apologize to Rachel for the whole “egg-head” business.  Apparently, selling his girlfriend out for a fourth consecutive championship win of a HIGH SCHOOL competition seems short-sighted to him, in hindsight  (Gee, ya think?); and

(2) He knew Rachel’s prom was coming up, and wanted to take her.  (You know . . . because college guys always keep track of rival high school’s social calendars, while they are away.)

Was this a contrived way for the writers to bring back this character?  Absolutely.  And yet, I’m actually really excited about Jesse’s return, not only because I enjoy his interactions with Rachel (She tends to be WAY less whiny and annoying, when she’s with him.), but because I’m positively THRILLED about what his return is going to do to Finn . . .

Watch out Finn-y!  Your emotions are showing!

Speaking of Finn, he sure seemed to be All Aboard the Rachel Train, this week, didn’t he?  The minute Finn learned that Rachel was considering taking Jesse to prom, he suddenly seemed SUPER CONCERNED about Rachel “getting her heart broken again.” 

 (After all, the only person allowed to break Rachel’s heart is FINN, right?) 

Rachel rightly tells Finn to go f*&k himself, that, as someone who’s currently dating Quinn, he has NO RIGHT to weigh in on Rachel’s romantic rendezvous.  Rachel (Bless her heart, girlfriend was pure PERFECTION this episode!) then proceeds to make Finn even SORRIER about dating the wrong girl, by expertly offering him advice on how to purchase the perfect corsage for his ACTUAL girlfriend but probably not for long Quinn.  (“A Gardenia . . . with a green ribbon around it .  .  . to match her eyes,” Rachel suggests).

Oh, Finn!  You poor smitten, little boy!  You are SO SCREWED!

Tension rises between Finn and Jesse, when the two encounter one another at Breadsticks (which, apparently, is the only restaurant in Lima, Ohio) later in the episiode.  Finn, in a not-so-subtle allusion to the “Little Game of Egg Toss” Jesse played with Rachel’s head, last season, asks the college dropout, if he ordered “eggs” for dinner. 

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In return, Jesse makes a few snide remarks about Finn’s bad dancing skills .  . .

Ahem . . .

 . . . even going as far as to offer HIMSELF to QUINN as a dance partner, when she gets tired of Finn-y Boy stepping on her feet.

Jesse – 1, Finn – 0

At the prom, when Rachel sings her solo number to Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts”  (What happened to “Rolling in the Deep”?) Finn, who just so happens to be dancing with Quinn at the time, keeps leering at Rachel, as if he wants to swallow her whole . . .

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And, later, when Jesse starts getting all hot and handsy with Rachel on the dance floor . . .

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 . . . Finny Boy conveniently misinterprets Rachel’s nearly orgasmic reaction as displeasure and TOTALLY SNAPS, attacking Jesse like a wild drooling rabid dog, who hasn’t eaten in weeks.  This, of course, gets BOTH Jesse and Finn promptly tossed out of the prom.  Quinn is upset by this, because she BELIEVES it will prevent her from winning prom queen.  But, in all honesty, she actually doesn’t win, because nobody really likes her . . .

Take that, Lucy Caboosey!

The smallest little violin in the world begins playing, as Quinn rushes off sobbing to the bathroom (“I’m not going to be prom queen, BOO HOO HOO!  My life is over.  I’m transferring schools  . . . AGAIN,” she wails.)

And Rachel, ever the glutton for punishment, actually rushes in to comfort this b*tch.  (Seriously, Rachel was like SUPERHUMANLY ANGELIC this week.  This means that, next week, the writers will probably make her Evil Incarnate.)  So, what does Rachel get for trying to be a decent human being to Quinn in her so-called hour of need?  Well, she gets THIS . . .

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But, like I said, Rachel COULD DO NO WRONG this week.  And even after Quinn gives her “free blush” on one side of her face, Rachel sticks around to find out why Quinn is “so upset.” 

Well, for starters, Quinn is upset because she currently wants Finn.  Tomorrow, she might want Puck.  And the day after, she might want Sam.  But today, it’s Finn.  And the day Quinn wants someone, she’ll be DAMNED if he’s interested in someone else!

What I found interesting about Quinn’s “little speech,” was that she seemed LESS upset about the fact that Finn seems currently more attracted to Rachel, than to her, and MORE upset about the fact that OTHER people noticed that, and, (she thinks) didn’t select them as Prom King and Queen because of it.  Way to keep your priorities straight, girl!

“Oh, don’t cry Quinn . . . it gives you wrinkles.”

The other thing Quinn claims to be worried about, is something the writers ALWAYS have her character worry about, every time they want to make her “sympathetic” to the audience.  Quinn complains to Rachel that life is SO MUCH HARDER for her, than it is for Rachel, because, unlike Rachel Quinn is just so pretty.  And as a result of her ridiculous attractiveness (and lack of other redeeming qualities), post-high school life for Quinn might actually end up being pretty darn disappointing. 

I hate to say it, but Quinn’s probably right about her future . . . 

Nonetheless, Rachel lies through her teeth, assuring Quinn that she’s more than just a pretty face.   She’s a better person than me, that Rachel.  That’s for DAMN sure!

You know who else is a MUCH better person than I am? EVERYBODY Kurt Hummel.

Kurt Reigns Over the Prom

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One of the coolest things about Kurt Hummel, I think, is that he’s not just content to be an out-and-proud teen.  Rather, Kurt sees it as his personal mission to educate teens and adults on having tolerance for various alternative lifestyles.  And though that Bizarre Kilt Thing Kurt wanted to wear to prom, SERIOUSLY freaked out his dad, Finn and Blaine, not to mention rivaled only ARTIE’S tuxedo, as the WORST PROM OUTFIT ever . . .

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 . . . I still respected the courage it took for Kurt to wear it.  Speaking of respect, I think Karofsky gained a whole lot of it for Kurt, when the latter found it in his heart, not just to forgive the former for bullying him, but also to take pity on the pain he was experiencing as a closeted gay youth . . .

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Kurt’s kindness, and his recognition of Karofsky’s inner turmoil, causes the normally stoic jock to break down into uncharacteristic tears.  Moved by Karofsky’s display of emotion, Kurt encourages him to stop hiding his true self, and come out of the closet “not tomorrow, but when you can.”

Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worst at prom, when Puck and Sam sing Rebecca Black’s Friday, which, though better than the original version, still makes me want to clean out my ears with bleach . . .

SAM:  “We are SO going to get our asses kicked for doing this song, aren’t we?”

PUCK: “Mmmm hmm.”

 . . . Karofsky gets crowned Prom King . . .

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Well, I guess that’s not such a bad thing, in and of itself.  But then, in a cruel twist, the McKinley High School kids insensitively nominate KURT as Prom Queen, causing both him AND Santana, to run out of the auditorium in tears.

Blaine sweetly comforts Kurt outside by the lockers, offering him the same comforting safety net, Kurt had offered him back when he worried about attending the prom in the first place.  “We don’t have to stay here, you know.  We can leave and never look back.”  But Kurt isn’t ready to accept defeat just yet.  Instead, he decides to (1) return to the auditorium and get coronated; (2) dance to Mercedes’ and Santana’s rendition of “Dancing Queen;” and (3) in doing so, impliedly, tell all the homophobes in his student body to go F*&k Themselves . . .

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(By the way, PRINCIPAL FIGGINS, the kids at your school play a practical joke on a gay male student, by electing him prom queen, and YOU allow him to be coronated to the tune of DANCING QUEEN, of all songs!  FOR SHAME!)

That being said, since it WAS Mercedes and Santana singing, don’t you think they could have . . . I don’t know . . . sang a DIFFERENT SONG?  Like “Macho Man,” perhaps? 😉

For a moment, it looks as though Karofsky might muster up the courage to actually dance with Kurt.  But, seeing his classmates’ reaction to Kurt’s bold acceptance of the crown, frightens Karofsky to his core.  And, at the last second, Karofsky runs from the auditorium, once again, in tears.  Fortunately, Blaine is standing right behind Kurt at the time, and is more than willing to “have this dance” with him.

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(Speaking of Blaine, his rocking out to the most awkwardly titled song ever, the “I’m Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance,” was pretty awesome, right?   Now, don’t get me wrong,, it’s not that I particularly love the song.  But boyfriend SURE CAN DANCE!  Plus, I found the number refreshingly non-Warbler-esque, which was great . . . for me, anyway!)

I mentioned Santana, earlier.  She shared a very sweet scene with Brittany outside the auditorium, in which she tearfully wondered why everyone hated her, just because SHE hated THEM. 🙂  An unusually-wise-this-week Brittany argued that the rest of the school didn’t vote for Santana because they would rather play a mean joke on Kurt because they can somehow tell that she’s not being true to herself.  (Now, that’s a nice idea and all.  But, then, how did KAROFSKY win?) 

Argument fallacies aside, my heart warmed a bit, when Brittany told Santana that if she “embraced the awesomeness of who she is, she would have won.”  Now, honestly, I’m not sure I believe that .  . . but it was a sweet thing to say, nonethless. 

And when Brittany politely told Santana to stop whining, pull her head out of her ass, and be supportive to Kurt in his time of need, well, that was EVEN sweeter . . .

Wearer of the Worst Prom Outfit Ever . . . meet the Worst Plotline Ever.

As I sort of mentioned earlier, there was also this sort of bizarre storyline, in which Puck convinced Artie to spike the punch at the dance . . . and then Sue Sylvester CAUGHT Artie doing it . . . so she randomly tortured him with dental tools . . . until she found out that he DIDN’T actually spike the punch? 

Yeah . . . rest assured, that plotline was about as random, and annoying to watch, as it probably was to read.  So,I’m not going to spend any more time on it than what you see here.  . .  except to say that, perhaps, the whole point of the storyline was simply to once-again punish Artie for wearing that Ugly Ass Suit . . .

Don’t worry Artie!  Everyone makes mistakes!  Next week will be better for you, I promise.  (Because, we all know it can’t get much worse!)

So, that was basically “Prom Queen” in a nutshell.   Next week’s Glee installment, entitled “Funeral,” promises to be a much darker episode. . . not to mention, a deadlier one.  You can check out the promo for THAT episode HERE . . .

Now, it’s time to start speculating, my fellow Gleeks, if you haven’t started already.  Which cast member do you think has already sung his (or her) final Swan Song?  Tune in next week to find out . . .

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Nose Jobs, Cabooseys, and Lebanese Beards – A Recap of Glee’s “Born this Way”

Welcome back to McKinley High, Willy Wonka Kurt!  Oh, how we missed your weird hats and increasingly bizarre wardrobe choices.  May you never be saddled with the ignominy of a school dress code EVER AGAIN!

After last week’s “meh” episode, I think many of us Glee fans were hoping that this week’s Gaga-inspired 90-minute extravaganza would pack enough of an emotional, feel-good, punch to make us forget that “Night of Neglect” ever aired.  And I’m proud to say, for this Gleek, at least, “Born this Way” delivered BIG TIME! 

From the slightly preachy (but still important) overarching theme of acceptance, to the variety of fun and well-produced musical numbers, to the genuinely heartfelt, character-driven moments, this was an episode that hit every single mark that “Night of Neglect” missed. 

So, what are we waiting for?  Grab a chair, put on that unflattering white t-shirt that exposes your deepest darkest insecurities, and let’s get on with the recap!

It’s Booty Camp Time!  (Sorry, Rachel’s Nose.)

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Warning:  Do NOT try this at home!

It’s almost time for Nationals.  And our Glee kids need to work on their dance moves!  This sounds like a job for Mister Schue’s Rump-Shakin’ Booty Camp!

Yep, Will definitely strikes me as one of those people, who always make weird facial expressions, when they dance.  . .

Unfortunately, for one Gleester that shall remain nameless . . .

And shirtless . . .

 The term “dancing” actually means “wobbling around Weeble-style, while flapping your arms impatiently, like a bird who’s too fat to fly.”

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This, of course, is SUPER embarrassing for Finn.  But it’s even more unfortunate for Rachel, who has the bad luck of dancing behind Finn at Booty Camp . . .

If I didn’t know any better, I would think she was laughing at Finn’s dancing . . .

Finn accompanies Rachel to the doctor, who confirms her biggest fear: Her nose is broken.  (Way to go, FINN!)  On the bright side, Doctor Schnoz says this would be a PERFECT opportunity for Rachel to get a nose job to fix her “deviated septum.”  (Isn’t that what they ALL say?)

Finn is completely against the idea of Rachel getting a nose job.  (Then again, he might just be afraid she will ask him to pay for it, since this is, after all, ALL HIS FAULT.)  Rachel, however, upon hearing that having the surgery might actually expand her vocal range, while making her more marketable as an actress, due to her “enhanced appearance,” seems open to the idea .  . .

I smell a Life Lesson approaching . . .

Puffy Pyramid Nipples (and other things we’d like to change about the Glee kids.)

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“Come on Finn!  Let me cop a feel!  My first girlfriend was in love with YOU, and my second one ended up being a lesbian.  You are pretty much my only hope of getting to Second Base, before I graduate.”

Rachel’s Nose Job Dilemma sparks controversy among the Glee kids.  (Riiight, because whether someone chooses to have cosmetic surgery, should TOTALLY be up to the members of their after-school club.)  Heading up Team Schnoz Keeper we have Mr. Schue, Puck, and, of course, Finn. 

 Batting for Team for Team Schnoz Chopper Upper are Mercedes (who believes that the thing that makes you different, is also the one that crushes your spirit) and Santana. 

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In classic Santana Style, the latter proceeds to detail all the things that, according to her, the other Glee kids SHOULD want to change about themselves . . .

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Santana Lopez:  Making people feel like crap, since 1994 . . .

You can always count on Sue Sylvester and Santana Lopez to fulfill Glee‘s weekly quota of Politically Incorrect / Slightly Racist / Definitely Prejudiced jokes.  But since Sue was “absent” this week, Santana got stuck doin the job, all by herself.  Fortunately, she got them all out of the way in a single scene.  Always one for efficiency (I expect she’s this way in bed, as well.  Right Brittany?), Santana potentially offends the entire Asian, Jewish, and “differently abled” population, by calling Tina out, for the shape of her eyes, Rachel, for the size of her nose, and the wheelchair-bound Artie, for the generally not “useful” nature of his legs.

But my favorite diss of all, just so happened to be the one directed at Finn . . . and his “Puffy Pyramid Nipples.”   But Santana didn’t just name Finn’s rare “nipular condition,” she went on to describe it in great detail.  “They look like they’re filled with custard. You could dust them with powdered sugar, and they could pass for some sort of dessert.”

*clears throat*

All this talk about dessert, must have made Trouty Mouth Bieber Wanna Be Sam very horny hungry, because he uses this as an opportunity to fondle Finn’s man boobs.  (See picture at the top of this section.) 

Sam Evans:  Inappropriately grabbing at other people’s nips since 1996.

Since we are already on the topic of equating food with sex . . .

Come on Baby, Pop Scrub my Cherry . . .

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Ever since LAST WEEK, when Will (1) got dumped by Gwyneth Paltrow; and (2) found out that Emma was single again AND had never consummated her marriage to Dr. Carl, he has CLEARLY been putting some serious effort into breaking the wrought iron padlock on Emma Pillsbury’s pantalones!  I mean, why ELSE would he spend multiple lunch hours SCRUBBING EMMA’S FRUIT FOR HER?

 “Rub my raspberries, Will, HARDER . . . HARDER!”

Alas, I think our Schue is starting to get a bit impatient with the virginal object of his affections.  And so, he broaches with Emma the subject of her getting laid professional help for her obsessive compulsive disorder.  Unfortunately, like most addicts, Emma is not quite willing to admit that she has a Sex Grape Washing Problem.  “I wasn’t born this way,” Emma explains, as if that changes ANYTHING!

But WAIT . . . maybe it DOES!

“The Glee kids shouldn’t be insecure about their trouty mouths, eagle beaks, and puffy pyramid nipples!  Because they were BORN THIS WAY,” Will thinks to himself.  (Hey, isn’t that the title of a LADY GAGA SONG?)

“I was born with a slab of raw meat on my head . . .”

And so begins Schue’s quest to teach his Glee kids a lesson about ACCEPTANCE . . . through singing, of course!

Santana Saves the Gay Day!

While most of the Glee kids seem to be struggling with insecurities based on their personal appearance, Santana is coping with a much deeper issue, her closeted homosexuality.  Public labels aside, our Queen B*tch still wants very badly to reunite with the love of her life Brittany, who is still dating Artie.  And, somehow, Santana thinks if she wins the title of Prom Queen, she will also win back Brittany.    But how does someone so HORRIFICALLY MEAN get elected to Prom Queen?  Well, by doing something REALLY nice, of course!

Santana decides that if she wants to win the support of her fellow Gleeks, she needs to get Kurt out of Dalton Academy, and back into New Directions, in time for Nationals.  But to do that, she needs to “tame” Big Bully Karofsky.  When Santana catches Karofsky ogling Sam’s ASS in the hallways at school, she develops an idea . . .

Santofsky?

Santana invites Karofsky out to lunch, and gives it to him “straight.”  “I know you are gay . . . I saw you checking out Sam’s ass,” she tells him matter-of-factly.  Though Karofsky initially denies Santana’s accusations, when she comes out of the closet to HIM, and offers that the two gays be eachother’s “beards,” in order to use their joint popularity to win Prom King and Queen, Karofsky agrees.  Of course, the fact that Santana threatens to OUT the guy in front of the whole school, if he doesn’t comply with her demands, certainly adds to the persuasion aspect.

“I SO want to Slushee you, right now!”

At Santana’s instruction, Karofsky issues a not particularly heartfelt, but VERY convincing, apology to the Glee kids for bullying them all.  He claims to have been “cured” of all meanness, by the love of a good lesbian woman.  Together, Santana and Karofsky vow to put  a stop to bullying in their school, by starting a sort of Anti-Bullying Guardian Angel Association called . . . get this . . . the “Bully Whips,” complete with RIDICULOUS UNIFORMS, who’s flashy hideousness would make Kurt proud . . .

“Those Bully Whips berets are ‘GORGE’, but a bit plain for my taste.  Do you think they come in rainbow colors?”

Speaking of Kurt, in furtherance of Santana’s Master Plan, Karofsky reaches out to him, by way of an apology.  Promptly, another school meeting is called to determine if Kurt feels safe enough under the same roof as Karofsky to return to McKinley High.  Kurt’s awesome dad, Burt, is in attendance . . .

 . . .  as is Doctor Arzt from Lost Karofsky’s dad, Principal Figgins, and the seemingly omnipresent Mr. Schue . . .

After hearing promises from both Karofsky, himself, and the “reformed bully’s” father, that he is a “changed man,” Kurt asks to speak to Karofsky privately.

“You’re not going to try and kiss me again, are you, Karofsky?  Because, in case you haven’t noticed, I have an INSANELY HOT BOYFRIEND, now.  Just sayin.'”

Kurt may be young, but he’s had enough life experience to know bullsh*t, when he smells it.  And so, with some gentle anal probing, Kurt eventually gets Karofsky to come clean about his and Santana’s nefarious plans to rule McKinley High from the inside of a closet.  Kurt is admittedly impressed . . .

“It’s all so deliciously EEEEEVVVIIILLLL!”  Mwah-ha-ha-ha!”

However, Kurt still thinks the viewing audience Karofsky must become educated in the Ways of the Gay.  And so, as a condition of Kurt’s returning to McKinley High, he makes Karofsky promise to start with him a chapter of PFLAG – Parents, Friends, and Family of Lesbians and Gays.  Karofsky agrees, and the Public Service Announcement Portion of the Episode is almost over.

Cut to the next day, where all the paperwork has miraculously been filed, Burt Hummel received a FULL refund on his MASSIVE private school tuition payment, and Kurt is back at McKinley High . . .  somewhere only he knows . . .

But WAIT!  Blaine is there TOO . . . and so are the REST OF THE WARBLERS!

 “How could that be?  I thought the Warblers were only allowed off campus for musical competitions and select trips to the Gap?”

Random Warbler 1:  “What’s with all these men in long hair, skirts, and makeup?  Is this a Drag Queen School?”

Random Warbler 2:  “Umm, actually . . . I think those are REAL girls.”

Random Warbler 1:  “Blaine?  I have a feeling we are not in Dalton anymore.”

Now, isn’t this sweet?  Blaine, who by now has undoubtedly forced his poor enslaved Warblers to sing for so many of his crushes, they are probably all plotting to kill him in his sleep, has commandeered his posse to sing a fond farewell to erstwhile Dalton-ite Kurt, to the tune of Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know.”

“Hop inside my Extra Large Mouth, and I will take you for a ride you will never forget.”

I’m going to paste a link to this performance here.   Be prepared to be moved to tears, and Ugly Cry Faces . . .

 “I can’t believe Kurt is leaving the Warblers!”

“I can’t believe they didn’t put me in this scene!”

After the song, Kurt gives Blaine one final embrace, before sort of, but not really, saying goodbye to him until 3:00 p.m., when they will meet in Blaine’s bedroom and make sweet, sweet love to one another.

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So, I guess it’s fitting that the next scene features Kurt singing Sunset Boulevard’s “As if We Never Said Goodbye.”  (Although, actually, the song’s lyrics seem to more accurately reflect Kurt’s feelings about McKinley High, than Blaine.)

(To be honest, I was never a big fan of the “Show Tunes,” so I kind of tuned out on this one.  I liked the sentiment though!)

In other news . . .

Follow Your Heart (Not Your Nose.)

So, remember when I told you that Rachel was considering getting a nose job to fix her “deviated septum?”  Well, as it turns out, she doesn’t want just ANY OLD NOSE, she wants Quinn’s nose.  Rachel even goes so far as to invite Quinn with her to her Rhinoplasty consultation, so that Rachel could ascertain what she would look like with Quinn’s nose on her face.  (It’s kind of like that movie Face Off . . . only with less Nicholas Cage.)

Given all that, it makes sense that Quinn and Rachel decided to take time off from fighting over Finn and decided to fight over Puck sing a duet mashup of TLC’s “I Feel Pretty” and Westside Story’s “I Feel Pretty.”  Oh yeah . . . this one made me cry too!

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You can find a link to their performance here.  (Just be sure to have your Kleenex handy!)

It’s not until Rachel passes out PICTURES OF HERSELF wearing her new nose, that Team Schnoz Keeper REALLY starts to up its game.  First, Finn tells Rachel she is beautiful.   (All together now:  “Awwww!”)

thenm, Tina tells Rachel that she has decided to be an Asian Sex Symbol, and proceeds to make out with Mike Chang in front of everyone! 

(OK . . . so that wasn’t really helpful to Rachel.  But, honestly, this is about as useful as we’ve seen these two character be, in the past season and a half.)

Then Puck accosts Rachel in the Lady’s Room to tell her that chopping off her nose would be an affront to Hot Jews EVERYWHERE!

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(BTW, I’ve officially joined the ever-growing ranks of Team Puckleberry.  And I’m proud!)

But what really seems to ultimately change Rachel’s mind about Schnoz-Gate is the possibility of hot sex with fellow Hot Jew, Puck  . . . . The Mall?

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With Kurt’s help, Puck stages a Barbra-vention at the Eagle Rock Plaza Mall in Glendale, California. some mall in Ohio.

 

 

What’s a Barbra-vention, you ask?  Well, basically, it’s a remake of Artie’s Safety Dance Number (which took place at the SAME MALL)  where Puck, Kurt, and a whole bunch of strangers, dance around the food court to Duck Sauce’s song “Barbra Streisand.”

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Rock on, PUCK!

Never heard of the Barbra Streisand song?  Oh, it’s a very eloquent tune . . . and by “eloquent” I mean it contains THREE WORDS (well . . . actually, one name, one consonant, and one vowel).  Please allow me to teach it to you.  It goes, “Woooooooooo Woooooooo, BARBRA STREISAND.”  And . . . that’s it. 

No, I’m NOT kidding you, Damon Salvatore!  It’s actually a pretty good song.  But I must admit, hearing it didn’t make me not want a nose job.  To each his own, I guess . . .

Long story short, Rachel ended up not getting a nose job.  Team Schnoz Keepers, for the WIN . . . and, of course, Barbra Streisand. 

In other sing-y and dance-y news (And, yes, I recognize what a LAME segway that was!), Finn and Mike showed off their respective lack of singing and dancing ability in their performance of Sammy Davis Jr.’s “Gotta Be Me.”  During the performance, Finn sang well and danced REALLY badly, while Mike dance well, but didn’t sing at all.  In other words, it was exactly like EVERY OTHER MUSIC NUMBER IN WHICH MIKE CHANG HAS TAKEN PART SINCE THE PILOT . . .

You can check out a link to the performance here:

(Now, don’t get me wrong.  I don’t have anything at all against Sammy Davis, Jr., may he Rest in Peace.  But, since this week’s Glee song selection did appear to be a bit 60’s tune heavy, does anybody else think Genesis’ “I Can’t Dance” would have been a slightly modern (and way more fun) choice for this duo?  Just a thought . . .)

But it wasn’t just the students at McKinley High who were staring down their insecurities, Emma Pillsbury was too!

Who’s Down with OCD?  (Yeah, you know Emma!)

(By the way, special thanks MUST go out to the Wemma Love Tumblr for (perhaps unknowingly) helping me out MAJORLY with this recap.  Every awesome Will and Emma GIF you see here, undoubtedly comes from THERE.  So, if Wemma is your SHIP, you now know where to sail . . .)

So, as you recall, Will has spent much of the episode trying to get Emma to admit she’s got a problem with the Excessive Cleanliness Thing, and that it is keeping her from having hot Schue Sex living a happy and productive life.  But when Will encourages Emma to join the rest of the class in making a t-shirt that portrays her biggest insecurity, she DOESN’T (at least, initially) choose “OCD.”  Instead, she chooses . . . THIS . . .

At lunch, Will REALLY lets Emma have it for the whole Ginger / OCD Thing!  In fact, he gets all up her grill with his dirty, unwashed fruit, and accuses her of being an “expert of deflection,” who’s afraid to face her own biggest insecurities.

“My fruits may be dirty, but I assure you that my tongue is very clean.”

The Tough Love seems to work on Emma, who, at Will’s coaxing, seeks professional help for her compulsions, even going as far as to accept medication to minimize their symptoms.  At the end of the episode, Emma DOES find the courage to proudly wear her “OCD” t-shirt.  After getting INSANELY turned on by watching Emma “strip” into said shirt (Dont’ hold your breath Schuester . . . those legs have been closed for 32 years.  And it’s going to take a lot more than some choice words and a pill to pry them open.), Will happily grabs her ungloved (baby steps!) hand, and leads her on to the dance floor.  And, for those of you wondering what WILL’s biggest insecurity is, well . . . wonder no more!

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(It gives the term Butt Face a whole new meaning!)

Speaking of Butt Faces . . . In Lauren Zizes’ news . . .  (I’m sorry, guys.  She just REALLY bugs me.)

Quinn Gets the Sympathy Vote (?)

Now, if you went to (or currently go to) high school with girls like Quinn and Santana, you are probably not surprised that either of these girls has their heart set on Prom Queen.  But you MAY be surprised to hear that Lauren Zizes wants the title as well.  After all, she was Little Miss Toddler’s in Tiaras back when she was three.  So clearly, she has the pedigree for the job . . .

Being the Whipped Puppy he seems to become, everytime he comes within three feet of Zizes, Puck decides to help Lauren win the crown.

PUCK:  “Hey, Selfish!  Ever think of doing something for ME, for a change?”

LAUREN:  “Oh, you’re still here?  I could have sworn our characters would be broken up by now.”

PUCK: “Word.”

Initially, Lauren actually looks like she has a good shot at winning the title.  After all, she’s clearly a fan favorite among the outcasts and misfits.  But then, Lauren has to go and fight dirty, by digging up an old picture of Quinn from her middle school days, and posting it all over the school . . .


Ummm .  . . yeah, so apparently Quinn’s real name is “Lucy”, and she used to be (gasp!) not-so-hot.  She also was given the unfortunate nickname Lucy Caboosey, by some of her crueler classmates.  So, when it came time to go to high school, Quinn changed schools . . . and her name . . . and her NOSE (How do ya like them apples, Rachel?)  She also, obviously, went on a MAJOR starvation diet.  And that’s how Quinn became the shallow biatch we know and love(?) today. 

Well, of course, Quinn is MORTIFIED to have this intel out in the open . . .

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As luck (and karma) would have it, however, Lauren’s plan to ruin Quinn’s chances at becoming Prom Queen end up backfiring!

(I know!  I can’t believe I’m actually rooting for Quinn, either!  I guess my frustration with Glee’s recent Zizes Overload does this to me.)

Once the school sees what Quinn USED to look like, they instinctively find her more likeable and relatable.  Suddenly, she’s gone from being someone to despite and envy, to an Inspirational Figure.  (Take THAT, ZIZES!) 

In a sweet final moment of the episode, Finn turns to girlfriend, Quinn, and shows him the Lucy Caboosey picture he now keeps in his wallet.  “This is the only picture I have of you, where I can really see you,” he explains.  

Then they makeout . . .

 . . . which kind of makes me want to go dig up photographs of MY AWKWARD STAGE (assuming I’m not still in it), so that I can show  incriminating pictures of myself to hot boys, and they will start making out with ME too!  (Hey, it could happen!)

Born this Way . . .

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Moments before the final dance number of the evening, which, as promised by The Schue at the beginning of the episode, is to the tune of Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way,” we get to see what everybody put on their Insecurities T-shirts.  I think my favorite of these came from Brittany (who’s shirt said “I’m with Stoopid, with an arrow pointing to her head) and Puck (who’s shirt ALSO said “I’m with Stoopid, with an arrow pointing to his other head).  L

ess impressive was Artie’s shirt that said “Four Eyes” (Zzzzz), and Tina’s shirt that said “Brown Eyes”  (Really?  Because, last I checked, THREE QUARTERS of the population has those).  Here are is a composite of the rest of the Gleek’s shirts .  . .  (Thanks oddles, GLEEIFS Tumblr!)

Not taking part in the dance number is a pouty Santana, who is still lodged firmly in the closet, despite the fact that Brittany made her a “Lebanese” t-shirt.  (Get it?  Lebanese?  Don’t forget, this is Brittany we are talking about here!)

Santana: You don’t get a say in who I date anymore.
Brittany: Why not? Because I’m dating somebody? Because you’re Lebanese, and I think I’m bi-curious?
Santana: No, because I said I love you. You didn’t say you love me back.
Brittany: I do love you.  Clearly, you don’t love you as much as I do, or you’d put this shirt on, and you would dance with me.

Wait . . . did she say “dance?”

Although there was no Horizontal Mambo for Brittana this week, there was a final tribute to Lady Gaga.  And you can enjoy it, in all its “Be Yourself” Glory, by clicking on this external link:

So, my fellow Gleeks . . . tell me . . . what’s on YOUR Insecurities T-shirt? 😉

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Things That Make You Go “HUH?” – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “The New Normal”

This week on Pretty Little Liars new relationships sizzled, arguments fizzled, new enemies presented themselves, and an old, terrifying, villain reemerged in Rosewood . . .

Yes, boys and girls, “Blind” Jenna’s CANE OF DESTRUCTION has returned, after enjoying a long and restful vacation in HELL!  And when “Blind” Jenna has her CANE OF DESTRUCTION by her side, we know that evil is truly afoot.  Be afraid, my Pretties.  Be VERY AFRAID!

Hanna’s “Infestation Problem”

So, Hanna and Caleb are continuing to play “house” in Hanna’s basement.   And Caleb is just having a fine old time.  After all, he’s living rent free, and having the Girl of his Dreams serve him breakfast in the morning, at no cost.  What could be better?

Caleb says he plans to leave, having received offers to leech off of OTHER families in Nebraska, or Nevada, or somewhere else that’s not Rosewood.  But we all know THAT’S not really going to happen — not when he’s coming closer, and closer to getting laid each week things are going so well for him here.

“Oh Hanna, would you mind getting me a towel?  I can’t find any here in the bathroom. because I’ve hidden them.  Did I mention, I REALLY, REALLY want you to see me naked?

Talk about a sweet deal!  Not only does Caleb get free room and board at Hanna’s house, Hanna has even kindly offered to wash his hat collection, which, let’s face it, was starting to smell like ass . . .

Sure, Hanna may have STARTED to wash the hat, so her mom wouldn’t realize that Caleb had left it in the kitchen that morning, but the result was the same, nonetheless.  Then, the next morning, the usually clever Hanna, gets the “bright” idea to hand Caleb his hat at school, SO ALL THE PLL’S CAN SEE HER DO IT.

GOTCHA, Secret Hat Sharers!

Now, don’t get me wrong.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a girl returning a hat to a boy.  But was it ABSOLUTELY necessary for Hanna to do this at school, when the boy lives IN HER BASEMENT?  I mean, did he really need the hat so badly, that this couldn’t have waited until he got home to wear it?  Is the bald spot really that noticeable, Caleb?

Nonetheless, the fact that Hanna and Caleb “hatted” eachother, ended up being a good thing.  You see, it prompted Aria, who’s a BIG FAN of Secret Inappropriate Relationships, to forgive Hanna for almost ruining her life, by nearly outing Aria and Fitz’s relationship to Aria’s mother.  You know . . . because no two PLL girls can stay angry at one another for more than half an episode, no matter what terrible things they do to one another . . .

“I’m glad we are friends again, Hanna.  Because I have some hats that could really use washing.  For example, that Where’s Waldo one I wore a few weeks back.”

Truth be told, Hanna is going to need all the friends she can get, now that her mom is being stalked by this CREEPO . . .

It all started when Hanna’s mom decided to return what was LEFT of the cash she had stolen from Dead Miss Potter’s safety deposit box.  Conveniently enough, before she could do it, some guy named James Leland, who to be Miss Potter’s only living relative, requested the contents of the box.  Remembering that Miss Potter had said that she had no living relatives Mommy wouldn’t have been stupid enough to snatch her cash, if she did Hanna’s mom asks this mysterious man for appropriate identification.  He provides it promptly.   And everything seems to check out.

Then Creepo Mr. Leland asks Hanna’s mom out on a date.   And since slutty Hanna’s mom would go out with a FERRET, if he asked nicely, she agrees.  That nigh,t the doorbell rings, and everyone assumes its Creepo Mr. Leland.  But it ends up being someone WAY more pleasant to look at . . .

 

Ever the pro at Breaking and Entering, Caleb wisely figures that if Hanna’s mom meets him first, she won’t be so surprised, when he knocks up Hanna if she ever sees him hanging around the house.  Hanna’s mom is concerned that Hanna seems to be rebounding from Sean, by having strange boys over at her house.  And yet, since Hanna’s mom has strange boys over at the house all the time, she really has no grounds to judge . . .

Strange Boy #1

When Creepo Leland actually arrives, it’s Caleb who first greets him.  “I’m the Guy Who Opens the Door,” snarks Caleb when Creeop Leland wants to know who the heck he is, if not a relative of Hanna’s mom.

Before they can leave for their date, Hanna’s mom has Mr. Leland sign a bank document.  This action prompts suspicion from Caleb because . . . wait for it . . . Mr. Leland USES A CHEAP PEN!

Because, clearly, anybody who uses a Blue Bic MUST be a serial killer, right?  After Hanna tells Caleb that Mr. Leland is supposedly an architect of some sort, Caleb astutely notes because he lived in an architect’s bathroom for a month once that architects tend to carry around nice pens.  Then Caleb takes it upon himself to do some background research on Mr. Leland.  And I begin to wonder whether he is the long lost brother Spencer and her Investigation Face never knew they had . . .

Now that you mention it, I do kind of see a resemblance . . .

What Caleb learns from his research is actually quite interesting.  As it turns out, the REAL James Leland WAS an architect, and he WAS related to Miss Potter.  But he was also MASSIVELY OLD, and is now MASSIVELY DEAD.  Hanna shares these findings with her mother, who blows them off, because “blowing things” is what she does best. 

But Hanna’s mom becomes suspicious of Creepo Mr. Leland too, when he (1) balks at the small amount of money leftover in Miss Potter’s account . . . almost as if he KNEW how much was supposed to be in there; (2) starts asking suspicious questions about who had access to the dead woman’s safety deposit box; and (3) seems unwilling to provide any information about where in “Syracuse” he supposedly does his banking . . .

Back at home, Hanna and Caleb share a sexy Almost Kiss Moment, before Caleb skulks back down to the basement to jerk off go to bed . . .

Moments later, there is a knock at the door.  Hanna answers it.  In doing so, she is greeted by what I think is the most HILARIOUS “A” taunt to date . . .

“Are you A?”  Asks the Funny Lookin’ Old Dude in the Weird Blue Jumper.  “Because I got a call from an A about an infestation in your basement?”

Haha!  Get it?   “A” just called Hanna’s new love interest a RODENT!  Fitz, apparently, thinks its funny too.

But be careful, Hanna!  If you keep eye f*&king Caleb, in public,  I suspect SOMEONE will see too it that you have a REAL infestation problem in your basement very soon . . .

“You better stop messing with my girl, Caleb.   Or I’ll stick my pet rat right up your ass!”

In the last few moments of the episode, SOMEONE leaves flowers on Miss Potter’s grave.  And I’m willing to bet that it’s NOT that Creepo Fake James Leland . . .

Could the FAKE Leland have MURDERED the Real Miss Potter for her money?  Does this storyline have ANYTHING to do with “A” or Ali’s death?  Only time will tell . . .

Aria’s Papa Don’t Teach

This week’s episode of PLL was a bit “parent-heavy.”  Don’t you think?  Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for stories about Hanna’s mom, because she’s a Dumb Slutty Felon, who amuses me.  And Emily’s interaction with her mother this week (more on that later) was truly touching.  But PLEASE PLL writers, let’s lay off on the Aria’s Parents’ Storylines, shall we? 

GO AWAY!

These two just bug the heck out of me.  And this is the THIRD week in a row, where their drama took up a major portion of the episode.  It all started with Aria’s mom DROOLING over Fitzy, as he singlehandedly saved the high school lunch room, from Paige’s Evil Father (more on that later). 

 (Apparently, the teachers eat lunch with the students at this school.  Now that HAS to suck for everybody involved.)

Fitzy then invites some of the teachers, Aria’s mom included, to go to some silent auction / book signing by an author that Aria’s mom secretly hates.  Aria’s mom agrees to attend the event because she really wants to get into Fitzy’s pants it’s for a good cause.

“Mrs. Montgomery, are you trying to seduce me?”

Cut to Aria’s parents roaming the halls of the school.  Aria’s mom wants Aria’s dad to meet Aria’s English teacher, Mr. Fitz, because their daughter is boning him because he is just SOOOOOOOO Dreamy.

“He’s smart, attractive, and sensitive,” coos Aria’s mom.

“Does he play the guitar too?”  Aria’s dad snarks.  (I swear, this is the only funny thing he’s said all season.)

So, of course, Aria’s dad immediately becomes convinced that Fitzy is screwing Aria’s mom.  So, when it comes time for the parent teacher conference, Aria’s dad is a TOTAL AND COMPLETE dick to Fitzy.

This rough treatment, of course, has Fitzy peeing in his pants, because he’s convinced that Aria’s dad hates him.  “Your dad hates me, or is crazy!”  Fitzy insists poutily.

  But Aria is not concerned.  “No ONE could hate my Fitzy!  IMPOSSIBLE!”  She assures him.  “And everyone already knows my dad’s crazy so . . .”

But then, when Aria actually questions her father, she learns, to her chagrin, that her dad DOES hate Fitzy.  “There’s just not a lot of depth there.  And he uses that boyish smile too much,” says Aria’s dad mopily.

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I have no idea what he’s talking about.

But when Aria explains that LOTS of teachers will be attending the event Aria’s mom is attending with Fitzy, and that’s it’s for a good cause, Papa Montgomery seems to change his tune about the English Teacher.  (Coincidentally, I’m not really sure what would piss Aria’s dad off more.  The idea of Fitzy boiking his wife, or his daughter?)

Anyway . . .

Aria and Fitzy are busy macking on the couch in Fitzy’s apartment, one evening . . .

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 . . . when Fitzy gets a message on his answering machine.  It’s Aria’s dad.  He’s sorry about his bad behavior at the Parent Teacher Conference, and wants to take Fitzy out for a drink (or ten). 

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MY LORD!  Does the ENTIRE Montgomery family want to BONE this guy?

Emily Gets “Special Treatment”

Poor Emily!  She can’t catch a break!  First her lover gets shipped off to De-Gaying Camp.  Now her teammate, Little Orphan Butchy’s, crackpot dad is shouting across the school lunch room that Emily is getting special treatment on the swimteam, just because she’s a lesbian.  (Yeah, because that makes a lot of sense!  And by “a lot” I mean “none at all.”)

“Man, my dad is such a DOUCHE!  Now, I wish I really was a Little Orphan, instead of just having a Little Orphan haircut.”

Emily keeps the pain of this experience to herself.  And doesn’t tell her mom about it, out of fear of upsetting her.  But count on Aria’s mom to SPILL THE BEANS. 

“Hi, my name is Big Mouth Montgomery.  What’s yours?”

(Seriously?  I know it ended up working out for the best.  But that was a TOTALLY inappropriate thing for Aria’s mom to do . . . Then again, making out in the school library after hours, and hitting on your daughter’s English teacher, are also inappropriate things to do.  So, at least, her character is consistent.)

Later, at the Parent Teacher Conferences, Emily’s mom confronts Emily about what Little Orphan Butchy’s dad said about her in the lunchroom. 

When Emily reluctantly admits to witnessing the event, Emily’s mom takes big steps toward redeeming herself in my eyes, by calling out Little Orphan Butchy’s dad for constantly blaming other’s for his own daughter’s shortcomings.  When it’s all over, Emily’s mom turns to Emily, and gives her a speech, that I must admit, made me go all mushy inside.  (I may have even shed a tear or two.  Shhh!  Don’t tell anyone!)

“I still don’t understand [your sexuality].  But I love you.  You are my child.  And nobody hurts my child.  I’m sorry if I [was a homophobic biatch who got your girlfriend shipped off to De-Gaying Camp] . .  .” says Emily’s mom tearfully.

Then they hug . . .

*sniffle sniffle*

That night, Emily walks to her car.  But before she can put her key in the ignition, an uninvited SOMEONE piles into her passenger seat.  (Because that’s not rude or scary, at all!)

Pouty Paige wrongly assumes that, because Emily’s mom stuck up for her against Paige’s dad, Emily’s mom is tolerant of her “lifestyle.”  “Why is everything so easy for you?”  Paige whines.  (Ughhh!  I despise this girl!  Can’t they put a COOL Lesbian onto this show, for Emily’s sake?  Tea from Skins, perhaps?)

“I’m single!”

Emily begins to explain to Paige just how NOT easy life is for her.  Upon hearing this, Paige shocks Emily, by planting a Big Fat Wet one on her lips . ..

“Don’t tell,” says Paige when it’s all over, dashing from the car, as quickly as she came . . .

“W .  . . T . . . F!”

OK . . . Did anyone NOT see this little “twist” coming, a mile away .  . . aside from Emily, of course? 

Don’t worry, Emily.  You are not alone.  Kurt from Glee feels your pain.

Spencer’s New Sidekick

When the episode opens, we see Spencer and the rest of the girls trying to decipher the braille note that Toby supposedly found hidden in Jenna’s room . . .

Using the internet, Spencer is able to translate the code, by matching the braille to corresponding letters . . .

This is the message she decodes . . .

Aside from being a song by Michael Jackson, it means precisely nothing.  The other girls are convinced that Toby has “punked” them, because he doesn’t trust them.  This, of course, would be completely understandable, considering they all, more or less, accused him of being Ali’s killer, just a few weeks back.  But Spencer, who has seemingly fallen in LOVE with the guy over the course of two weeks (It’s amazing what a little French kissing tutoring can do for your love life.), can’t IMAGINE that Creepy Toby would do such a thing to her.

So, Spencer calls Toby to make sure he hasn’t punked her ass, Ashton Kutcher style.  He tells her he hasn’t.  She’s just reading the code wrong.  Spencer later figures out that the braille marks also represent numbers.  So, the code, in addition to saying “Bad,” also says “214.” 

When Spencer meets up with Toby later, while “Blind” Jenna is away at “flute practice, he tells her, that “Blind” Jenna wrote the note, after talking about Spencer on the phone.  He claims that “Blind” Jenna is afraid of all the PLL girls involved in the accident, but Spencer, most of all.  Toby asks Spencer if the numbers have any significance to her. “Aside from being the date this episode is airing?  They don’t . . .

But thanks to the producers, we are later shown that 214 is motel room number.  And guess who’s staying at that motel?

YIPPPEE!  It’s Wren!  He’s back!  He’s back!  YAY!

Or . . . maybe not . . .  You see, I was SO excited about the prospect of my Wren returning to PLL, that I took the liberty of rewatching the Motel Kiss that occurred between Spencer and Wren during episode 4.  And, unfortunately, unless he changed rooms (please, please let him have changed rooms), he wasn’t staying in 214 . . .

Room 103?

So, “Blind” Jenna’s cryptic note remains a mystery.  You know what else remains a mystery, why “Blind” Jenna was shopping for a lace dress, (“He loves lace,” she says creepily to the store clerk.).  Also, why was she LOOKING AT HERSELF IN THE MIRROR while she was trying it on?

If you recall, this is the SECOND time we’ve seen “Blind” Jenna look at herself in the mirror.  THIS was the first . . .

So, who was Jenna getting all dolled up for?  Stepbrother Toby would be the most obvious choice (EWWWW! EWWW! EWWW!).  After all, he had just received some very good news (more on that in a moment), and would, perhaps, be in the mood to screw “celebrate.”  And Spencer did receive THIS cryptic message from “A,” when she agreed to meet up with Toby again.

But perhaps, Jenna has another lover we don’t know about.  Maybe it’s Pedo Ian  (He seems to like them young!), or maybe it’s Ali’s killer?  Unfortunately, this is yet another mystery that we will have to wait to solve.

Less of a mystery is Creepy Toby’s guilt, or lack thereof.  When Spencer arrives at Toby’s house, the two share a moment.  Their hands brushing against one another, as they both fondle one of Jenna’s snowglobes.  During that Moment, Toby shares his good news with Spencer.  I am STD Free!  The District Attorney has dropped the case against him for Ali’s murder, because the blood evidence on Ali’s coat was “corrupted.”

Spencer offers to bring Toby down to the police station to have his House Arrest leg bracelet removed, and Toby agrees.   But then, once the new couple step outside, Jenna is there with her CANE OF DESTRUCTION!  She wants Toby in her cab, and she’s not about to take no for an answer . . .

SPENCER: “Awwww, crap!  She’s gonna hit us with that thing, isn’t she?”

TOBY: “It actually feels kind of good, when she does it right.”

SPENCER: “I just vomited in my mouth, hearing you say that.”

TOBY:  “Breath mint?”

“Hope you brought a helmet!”

Though “Blind” Jenna worked the whole “blind” angle, by calling Spencer “Emily,” I don’t buy for a second that Jenna didn’t know EXACTLY who was in the process of stealing her man.  Jenna briskly tells Spencer that her services are no longer required.  Her CAB can take Toby to the police station.  “I’m going with Spencer,” says Toby firmly.

That’s when Jenna’s head starts spinning around in circles, and she begins spewing green goo out of her mouth . . . just kidding!  But she certainly wasn’t a Happy Camper. 

During their road trip to the pokey, Spencer and Toby bond a bit.  And the sexual tension between them becomes increasingly evident . . .

TOBY:  “Everyone else on this show makes out in cars.  Are you sure you don’t want to try it?  It’ll be fun.”

SPENCER: “I generally only kiss boys who are dating my sister, or hit on my mom.”

TOBY:  “I can do that.”

Toby notes that he is ready to make changes in his life.  I suspect it’s only a matter of time before those “changes in his life,” include a nice long trip inside Spencer’s pants . . .

“Ready or not, I’m coming in!”

And that was “The New Normal” in a nutshell.  It wasn’t exactly the most eventful episode we’ve seen, so far.  But at least it paved the way for plenty of Hot Hookups in the future (Hanna/LucasCaleb, Spencer/Toby, Emily/Yucky Paige, ME/Wren) . . . 

How about you?  Did you enjoy “The New Normal?”  Are you liking any of these new pairings?  What’s the deal with “Blind” Jenna and that Leland creep?  What are your thoughts on the number 214, and how it relates to the PLL mysteries?  And finally, how excited are you about the Naked Caleb featured in the promos for next week’s episode?

Speaking of the promo, you can watch IT, and a sneak peek from next week’s episode, RIGHT HERE!

See ya next week, my Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

The French Connections – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Je Suis Un Amie”

Oh, Creepy Toby!  How we missed those big blue eyes and that Serial Killer Facial Expression, of yours!

“Je Suis Un Amie,” this week’s episode title, when translated into English, means, literally, “I Am A  Friend.”  Get it?  A Friend . . . as an “A?”  Pretty darn clever, huh? 

Given the title of the episode, it’s kind of fitting that this latest installment of the series (1) featured lots of French influences — from French tutoring, to Spencer’s ridiculous French-inspired wardrobe (Seriously, who is DRESSING her, lately?),  to a French language version of Catcher in the Rye; and (2)  may very well have brought us closer than ever before to finding out “A’s” true identity.  (I’ll give you a hint.  Based on the evidence we learned this week, all fingers seem to point to a girl who’s name rhymes with . . . LINED . . . HENNA.)

So, what are we waiting for?  Let’s start digging for clues!

Turning the Paige . . .

I am going to start with the LEAST exciting storyline first, to get it out of the way . . .

Sorry, Em!  But you KNOW it’s true!

It’s a few days before the Big Swim Meet.  Emily and her new rival Paige, or, as I like to call her, Little Orphan Butchy, are still at odds with one another.  Except now, instead of MERELY competing for the role of Team Captain, Emily and Paige are now also in competition to determine who gets to swim the much-coveted anchor leg of the relay race.

Since the girls’ respective personal best times are identical, the coach decides to have the at-odds pair compete in a Swim Off against one another.  Emily, once again, tries to be friendly to her rival, by offering her a few words of encouragement.  But Little Orphan Butchy is not having it.  She responds to Emily’s efforts by, more or less, growling and snarling, like the rabid dog she may very well be, underneath that ridiculous wig of hers.

That night, Emily awakens to a knock at her door . . .

And, wouldn’t you know it . . . it’s a WET DOG!

Little Orphan Butchy is COMPLETELY soaked through with rain (or is it sweat?).   She’s also blubbering and crying, and looks half way toward catching pneumonia.   But does Emily let Butchy into her house?  Nope.  (GOOD GIRL!)

All joking aside, Little Orphan Butchy evokes just a smidgeon of my sympathy, when she starts sobbing out apologies to Emily, while standing on her porch.  “I’m sorry,” she snivels.  “I just wanted you to know that.  You have every reason to hate me.”

(Yes, she SURE does!)

With those brief words, Little Orphan Butchy dashes off on her bike, right into the storm, leaving a still half-asleep Emily completely confused.  Now, while I’ll admit I felt a little bad for Little Orphan Butchy, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the Evil Homophobe was apologizing for something more than just a few nasty comments, and that time she almost drowned her . . .

Could Little Orphan Butchy have done something AWFUL to Emily to sabatoge her ability to compete in the upcoming Swim Meet?

Understandably, I fear for Emily’s safety, when she arrives at the swim team locker room, the following day, prepared for her little race against Little Orphan Butchy.  As it turns out, however, my worries are unfounded.  Because Wet Dog Paige DOESN’T show up to practice!  Coach claims she was HURT on her bike the night before.  Her absence results in Emily getting the opportunity to swim the anchor position in the relay, by default!

HUH?

Well . . . surely it is Little Orphan Butchy’s intention then to sabotage Emily at the MEET, itself.   Right?  

The day of the meet comes.  And once again, I am EXTREMELY worried for Emily’s safety.  As she waits on the platform, I watch her for signs of poisoning and sudden illness.   When she steps onto the diving bored, I fear that Paige may have greased it with butter, causing Emily to slip and break her head.  When Paige HERSELF arrives on the scene, I find myself entirely convinced that she’s some kind of witch/wizard, planning to put a spell on Emily to make her perform poorly, during the race.  (Yes, I read Harry Potter too much.)

But then the race ends, and Emily WINS IT FOR HER TEAM!

“Fooled ya, didn’t I?”

After the meet, Emily finds Paige alone at the pool.  Paige admits that she wasn’t hurt,  but WISHES she had been.  As it turns out, she has gotten so caught up in the pressure and competitiveness of winning, that she just doesn’t enjoy swimming anymore.  Emily, of course, can relate to this feeling, having experienced it herself, just a few months earlier, when she had temporarily quit the swim team.

“How did you get over it?”  Paige wants to know.

“I stopped swimming for everyone else, and started swimming just for me,” explains Emily.  “When was the last time you swam just for fun?”  Emily inquires, with a wink.

Then, suddenly Emily and Paige are “having fun” in the pool together, with Cheesy Girl Power music playing in the background.  Emily is giving Paige some “looks,” if you catch my drift.  And these LOOKS worry me.  (Please LORD don’t make these two a couple, PLL Writers!  Emily can do SOOOOO much better than Little Orphan Butchy . . . just sayin!)

Just keep swimming, Emily!  There are MANY other (better) fish in the sea!

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Aria’s Not So Shocking Discovery

Hanna:  “Ewww, Aria, why are your mom and dad making monkey in our school library?  That’s REALLY nasty!”

Aria:  “Shut the f*&k up, Hanna.  At least my mom doesn’t screw Deputy Douchey, or steal money from old ladies!”

If you recall, last week’s PLL installment ended with the completely lame and entirely predictable cliffhanger of whether or not Aria’s mom ACTUALLY saw Aria and Fitzy necking on their clandestine “date” at the Philadelphia museum . . .

When the episode begins, Aria is digging for money in her dad’s jacket pocket, when she comes upon some VERY interesting contraband . . .

When Aria inquires as to what her dad is doing with the SAME ticket to the SAME museum event that she secretly attended with Fitzy, Aria’s dad mumbles something about  Aria’s mom, and then proceeds to become even more socially awkward and incoherent than usual.  Aria gets even MORE concerned that she’s been found out, when her mom acts equally bizarre, when questioned about whether SHE attended the event.

“Ummm . . . ummmm . . . ummmm . . . I’m boinking your dad again, and have inexplicably decided to keep it a secret from you so that you will spend the entire first half of the episode worried that I found out about you having Hot Limo Sex with your much older teacher boyfriendI’m sorry.  Could you repeat the question?”

Aria is ultimately relieved to learn that her mom’s car broke down, thus making her, ultimately, unable to attend the museum art exhibit.  And yet, much to Hanna’s chagrin, Aria has caught Spencer’s Veronica Mars Disease, and is still intent on finding out why her parents have been acting so friggin bizarre lately.  And so, Aria and Hanna tail Aria’s dad’s car one night.  Of course, they are surprised, when he ends up parking it at their high school.

Hanna:  “Hey Aria, maybe your dad has lost his memory, and thinks he’s 16 years old again, and still looks like THIS . . .”

Oh yeah, that’s TOTALLY a pre-drugged out Charlie Sheen next to him, by the way.  It’s AMAZING what you can find on the internet! 

Still waiting in the car, Aria calls her mother from her cell phone.  As a result of that call, we are treated to this image . . .

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little . . .

Now, don’t get me wrong.  It’s not that I’m ageist, or anything.  In fact, there are PLENTY of 40 and 50 somethings that I would be PERFECTLY cool with seeing hook up.  (For starters, I could watch George Clooney hump a TREE, and I’d still be happy!)  It’s not even that Holly Marie Combs and Chad Lowe are unattractive.  On the contrary, they are both VERY good looking people.  It’s just that these two have NO CHEMISTRY WHATSOEVER!  So watching them makeout, and rub up on eachother, is about as romantic as watching two slugs mate . . .

Anywhoo . . . Aria is concerned by her mom’s weirdness on the phone, and knows that her parents are DEFINITELY up to something.  (Oh, they are up to SOMETHING all right!)   After some cajoling and puppy-dog eye giving, Aria ultimately convinces Hanna to go into the school with her, so the pair can stalk Aria’s dad.  Good times!

Hanna’s and Aria’s investigation ultimately leads them to the library, where they encounter THIS . . .

Nope . . . still not sexy . . .

(Of course, the girls find OTHER things in the library too, which I will get to in just a bit, when we tackle Hanna’s storyline.) 

The next day, a now emotionally-scarred Aria gets a text from A, that says THIS . . .

Oh, HANNA!  You’ve got some ‘splaining to do!

Hanna (temporarily) loses a friend . . . but gains a new boy toy and housemate

Welcome to The Dating Game, Hanna!  So far, we’ve met Bachelor Number One, Sean, and Bachelor Number Two, Lucas.  Allow us to introduce you to Bachelor Number 3, Caleb.  Caleb is homeless, has no family, and is probably a drug dealer.  But he’s very attractive, and can break into anything even your pants!  Needless to say, your mother will LOVE HIM!

Lucas has been gone for two whole weeks now, and Hanna seems to have a VERY short attention span.  For this reason, she spends most of the episode eye f*&king Resident Bad Boy Caleb.  You see, Hanna owes Caleb for that “little favor” he did for her, by wrecking Aria’s mom’s car, so she couldn’t get to the museum where Aria and Fitzy were screwing enjoying their date.  And Caleb wants to COLLECT on this favor . . .

Now, if this were a show on ANY channel, aside from ABC Family, we all KNOW EXACTLY how Caleb would expect Hanna to “repay him” for the “favor” he did her.  (Hint:  It rhymes with “lex.”)  But this IS ABC Family, so Caleb merely wants Hanna to go on a “date” with him.  Caleb believes that dating a popular and “clean cut” girl like Hanna will give him the “Street Cred” he needs to push drugs and alcohol on Hanna’s rich friends.

Hanna kindly obliges, even going as far as to point out which of her friends are the wealthiest, sluttiest, and most drug addicted.  She does this, in exchange for information regarding Caleb’s Sick Sad Life as a foster child.   Once Caleb has enough gullible marks for his Con Artist game, him and Hanna attend Emily’s swim meet, and eye f*&k eachother some more . . .

That night, while she is stalking Aria’s parents, Hanna finds an air vent, filled with cell phones, dark clothing, and a wad of cash, all of which she immediately assumes belongs to “A.”  Hanna promptly pockets the cash, explaining to Aria, that “A” owes her for the medical bills she incurred when “A” ran her over with the car.  (Of course, she neglects to mention to Aria the whole “Felony Blackmail thing,” or that “A” also “owes Hanna” for doing her bidding, by trying to sabotage Aria’s date with Ezra.)

The moment Hanna steals  borrows takes an Unauthorized Loan of the cash,  however,  her and Aria are startled by a loud crash, and frightened by the sight of a dark figure looming before them, in the distance . . .

Aria and Hanna try to outrun their assailant, but he is WAY faster than them, and catches up quickly.  At one point, Hanna tries to put more space between her and Aria and their potential attacker, by overturning a trashcan in front of him.   But the dude leaps over it SO effortlessly, I start to wonder whether “A” (if that’s who he ends up being) might, in fact, be Spiderman . . .

Eventually, however, the hooded figure backs Aria and Hanna into a corner.  Out of options, Hanna cleverly improvizes, by spraying hairspray in her assailant’s face.  Blinded, he removes his mask.  And the girls’ assailant IS . . . (drum roll, please) . . . THIS GUY!

Yes, boys and girls, Caleb lives in the LIBRARY, where the books are free, and the nighttime teacher makeout sessions are a plenty!  He does this, because he doesn’t want to end up in yet another foster home.  Hearing this, understandably, makes Hanna and Aria feel guilty for complaining about their own, not nearly as crappy, lives.  So, Hanna reluctantly returns Caleb’s money.  Then, the girls leave the library, and let Caleb go back to reading Wuthering Heights for the 325th time . . .

The next day, school board officials find Caleb’s personal belongings stashed in the heating vent, and toss them in the trash.  “My Eviction Notice,” notes Caleb to Hanna morosely, as he digs his food-stained shirts out of a nearby garbage pail.

“Well, this place has very little closet space,” remarks Hanna,  trying to keep things light.

Recognizing how terrified her new Bad Boy Buddy is about returning to the foster care system, Hanna invites Caleb to live in her basement.  “My mom is so self-absorbed, and oblivious to every aspect of my life, she will NEVER EVEN KNOW YOU ARE THERE!”  Hanna says, more or less.  “Besides, she’s out hooking most of the night, and sleeps all day in a drug-induced stupor.”

In hindsight, it’s kind of a good thing that Hanna has a new housemate.  Because she’s going to need all the friends she can get, now!  When Aria first receives that cryptic text from “A” alluding to Hanna’s part in her almost getting caught with Fitzy by her mom, she immediately confronts Hanna with it, not believing the content of the message at all.  “A’s really gone off the deep end now.  She’s trying to turn us against eachother!  I can’t believe it,” insists Aria, infuriated.

(Well . . . that’s true, Aria.  Just not exactly in the way you think.)

Though Hanna could have just blown off the text message, thereby preserving her friendship with Aria, guilt ultimately overcomes her.   So, Hanna comes clean to her bestie, about sending Aria’s mother the museum tickets.  “A has something on ME,” Hanna insists, by way of explanation for her massive betrayal.

“A has something on ALL OF US,” argues Aria, “But nothing A said could make me do that to you!”

And, with that, a rightfully furious Aria stalks off, leaving a dejected Hanna alone to lick her wounds.

That night, Hanna is sobbing on the staircase, as she makes yet another apologetic phonecall to Aria that goes unanswered.  Caleb is there, talking about showers, and towels.  So, I start to think that maybe we will get to see him shirtless tonight . . .

We don’t . . .

But we do get to see him sit next to Hanna and sweetly comfort her, which is nice . . .

And yet . . .  given that Caleb has spent weeks living in the school library, I’m not entirely sure his decision to FORGO a much needed shower, for Hanna’s sake, is a particularly hygenic (or good-smelling) one.

Here, I would  like to note that the Lucas has not missed a single shower since he was two-years old.  Just sayin’

And finally, the storyline you’ve all been waiting for . . .

Spencer and Toby do French . . . but not in the way you think . . .

Last week, I mocked Spencer a bit, for the Indiana Jones costume she wore, while investigating Ali’s hot shirtless brother Jason out on the field.  This week, Spencer entertained us, by wearing yet another Halloween costume.  This time she dressed up like her favorite American Girl doll  . . .

Blue Beret sold separately!

Maintaining her French wardrobe theme for the evening, Spencer’s second ensemble was a cross between French Maid, French Clown, and French Poodle . . .

Given Spencer’s newfound love of French Couture, it was, perhaps, fitting that she had decided to tutor Creepy Toby (who was now being homeschooled, as a result of all the bullying he was receiving, on account of being the main police’s suspect in Ali’s murder) in French.

Spencer’s reasoning for deciding to tutor Toby is three-fold:  (1) She feels guilty for being TOTALLY convinced he murdered Ali, during the early months of her murder investigation.  And she sees this as a good an opportunity as any to apologize for being such a b*tch to him.  (2) Seeing as people keep blowing up his mailbox, there’s no way Toby’s ever going to get those Rosetta Stone CD’s he ordered from Amazon.com, in time for finals . . .

(3) Now that Spencer TOO has been somewhat accused of being responsible for Ali’s death (Remember that Crazy Bead Selling Lady, suggested that Spencer had ordered Ali’s Death Bracelet, last week?),  the Veronica Mars Disease in Spencer has somehow convinced her that Toby can be her Logan Echolls (or, at least, her Wallace).  Together, Spencer feels that she and Toby can figure out WHO is framing them and why.  And THIS, she figures, might actually lead them to “A” and Ali’s killer.

After taking the advertisement off the wall, so no one else could volunteer for the job not that anyone else would want it, Spencer nervously heads over to Boo Radley’s Creepy Toby’s and Blind Jenna’s house, after school . . .

When she eventually finds the courage to ring the doorbell, Creepy Toby answers.

 Toby is clearly leery of Spencer, and isn’t quite sure what her true intentions are.   He’s also concerned that, if Blind Jenna knows that Spencer is in the house with him, she will rape Toby again freak out.  Of course, Creepy Toby would absolutely LOVE to study with Spencer someplace away from home, where he would feel more comfortable (like a cemetery, or bat cave, perhaps), however his darn House Arrest Bracelet, won’t let him leave his property.  So, Spencer suggests that the pair study on the porch instead.  Toby reluctantly agrees . . .

Initially, Spencer tries to butter Toby up, by giving him a French version of a book she KNOWS he enjoys, namely, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.  Spencer wisely notes that reading a book in French that he has already read in English will help him become fluent in the language.  But Toby is not so easily bought.  He wants to know why Spencer is really there.

The two eventually warm to one another a bit, and get to talking, about how much it sucks to be framed for Ali’s murder.  Spencer wonders out loud how the jacket Toby gave Ali on the night of her murder, ended up back in his house, after she died. Before he can answer her question, however, Toby notices the rustling of a nearby window, and quickly bids Spencer adieu.  Obviously, Blind Jenna has come out to play! 

(OK.  If Jenna is BLIND why is she “LOOKING” out the window at Spencer and Toby?   Weird!)

That afternoon, Spencer already seems totally smitten with Toby, which is odd considering that she used to make out with SUPER HOT Wren that just a few episodes ago, she hated his guts.  “He seems . . . hornydifferent,” Spencer notes dreamily to Emily, as the latter tries not to laugh hysterically at her friend’s MAJOR change of heart.

*sigh*  “Creepy Toby is sooooo dreamy.   Do you think he likes me?  You know, when Toby and I get married, Blind Jenna will be my sister-in-law.  That’s going to suck SO BAD!”

When Spencer is not sleuthing, or dressing French, or dreaming about Toby, this week, she spends the rest of her time, glaring at her new brother-in-law Pedo Ian, and quitting the hockey team, because he’s it’s coach . . .

Ian feigns offense at Spencer’s obvious rejection of him.  He insists that he just wants to make peace with his wife’s little sister.  However, Spencer isn’t buying it.  Big Sis Meliss tries to intervene, and let Spencer know what a FABULOUS person Pedo Ian is . . .

“Is THAT why he’s hitting on a 13-year old now?  Because that’s what FABULOUS adults do?”  Spencer notes wryly (more or less), as she motions toward a little kiddy that Pedo Ian seems to be grooming for his special Lolita collection.  

Spencer insists that Melissa ask her new husband about his various rendezvouse with Ali before she died.  But Melissa retorts that, since Spencer has been spending time with Creepy Toby, he must be poisoning her little sister’s mind against her new husband.  “You just always want what I HAVE,” remarks Melissa.  “You need help!”

Correction, Melissa:  Spencer wants what you HAD . . . not HAVE.  There’s a BIG distinction.

Speaking of Wren, he gets a SHOUT OUT, in Melissa’s next line, “I’ve already lost one relationship because of you, you will not ruin my marriage too!”  Melissa huffs, before storming out. 

(Well, at least SOMEONE, besides me, remembers that Gorgeous Hunk of Man!)

Later, Melissa approaches Spencer again to apologize for her earlier behavior.  Apparently, Pedo Ian has finally come clean to his wife about making out with Spencer, while the pair were broken up, but she’s totally cool with it (NEVER MIND THAT SPENCER WAS 14, AT THE TIME).  Then, Melissa decides to drop a couple of bombshells on Spencer, by revealing (1) that SHE proposed to Pedo Ian, not the other way around; and (2) that she’s pregnant with Pedo Ian’s Evil Spawn!

For once, Spencer, that face is TOTALLY justified.

Later that day, Spencer comes back to visit Creepy Toby again, and is totally caught off guard, when he dumps her as his French tutor.  “This isn’t going to work out,” says Toby brusquely.  “We can’t help eachother.  You have to go,” he concludes, handing Spencer back her book, as he dashes back inside his Haunted House. 

(By the way, did you notice the DARK GLASSES on the outside table, during this scene? Do you think they were Blind Jenna’s?  If so, what exactly does that mean?)

You’ve got some ‘splaining to do, Blind Jenna!

When Spencer gets home from Creepy Toby’s house, and puts the French Catcher in the Rye book on her bed, a slip of paper falls out of it.  It’s a message from Creepy Toby . . .

“I found this in Jenna’s bedroom.   I think you may be right!”

Below Toby’s handwritten message is a pencil rubbing done of some characters, which were clearly typed in braille.  The question is:  What exactly does it SAY?

In the final moments of the episode, we are treated to the CREEPY sounds of a record (SERIOUSLY A RECORD?  What is this, 1975?), which boasts that it can teach a person French easily.  All they have to do is listen.  As the voice on the record repeatedly utters “Je Suis Un Amie,” the camera pans over a number of suspicious items:  (1) laptop, (2) a knife, (3) some rope, (4) a wrench, and (5) THIS . . .

What the F*&K is THAT supposed to be?

What exactly all this signifies is still a mystery . . . to me, anyway.  After all, TOBY would seem to be the most likely candidate to own a record like this.  After all, he needs to learn French, and he just ditched his tutor.  So, it would make sense for him to practice the language using an instructional record (possibly originally by one of his parents’)? 

And yet, up to this point, all signs have pointed to JENNA being the mysterious “A.”  Certainly, JENNA would have access to Toby’s room, during this scene.  She may even play his French record out of curiousity, and manipulate his belongings, in order to throw fans off track frame him for Ali’s murder. 

And yet, would the solution  that Blind Jenna is “A” be too obvious?  Could “A” have been Toby all along?  Or is the person featured at the end of this episode someone else entirely . . . one of Toby’s and Jenna’s parents, perhaps?

I guess we will have to wait until next week to find out . . . See you then!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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